Make a Quota
If you have all day, make it a set number of pages. During my ghostwriting days, I made myself write ten first-draft pages a day. It was a push, but I was young, and the books I was writing were pretty formulaic. Naturally, if you’re going to write a set number of pages every day, you’d better have a pretty detailed outline to work from.
If you’re limited by time, then watch the clock. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in even thirty minutes… if you know what you’re doing. Of course, you’re probably going to want more than thirty minutes a day, but I’m saying that even a short amount of time can add up to a finished novel if you use that time wisely.
Set aside three hours a day, or two, or even one, if that’s all the time you have. But don’t say you have no time to write if you’re spending hours at a time watching television or lunching with friends. If you have time to twitter or hang on Facebook, you have time to write. If you want to finish your novel, you’ll take all the time you can get. Even one page a day will produce a book, or the better part of one, in a year. But that page has to be written EVERY SINGLE day. Don’t say, “I haven’t written for five days, but that’s okay because I’ll write five pages tomorrow,” because sure as shootin’ that excuse will turn into “I haven’t written for three months, but that’s okay, because I’ll write 93 pages tomorrow.” Fail.