Finishing Your Novel a Few Hundred Words at a Time

December is a busy month for most people. People who work in retail are almost always working long hours of overtime. People have holiday dinners with family, in laws, groups of friends, their companies. They’re buying Christmas gifts for their relatives. And of course, the regular workload doesn’t just disappear either.

Personally, I’ve taken over more duties for Musa Publishing and I spend most of my time after school working on Penumbra, whether it be for marketing the eMagazine or for the blog. It’s a lot to handle.

But we can’t let our busy lives stop us from finishing our novels. So what we need to do is carve out small chunks of time from our busy schedules to write. Try to get ahead in our other work so that we have more time to write. Cut out one of the TV shows we watch.

Only you can make writing a priority. We all have twenty four hours in a day, and it’s up to you to find the time to write. Even if you can only write for fifteen minutes a day, and even if you only write a couple hundred words that day, at least you’ve written something. As long as you keep hacking away at it, that novel will eventually get done.

Me? I’m making good progress on my novel. I’ve stopped using word padding techniques and it’s really cut down the time it’s taking to get through my plot. My characters are almost ready to storm the castle. It’s hard to find the time to write between school and all my duties for Musa, but it’s what I’ve got to do. It’s what I love to do, too.

Where are you in your novel? How do you find the time to write?

6 thoughts on “Finishing Your Novel a Few Hundred Words at a Time

  • Hi Ann,

    It really is a necessity. Just a part of who I am. And I will be keeping at it. I hope you do too.

    The most important thing about writing is to never give up.

    Thanks for stopping by,

  • Hey, Dianna! I hadn’t been writing every day, as so many people advise one to do, and I had a bad case of writer’s block for the entire summer and a little beyond. I was beginning to wonder what the HECk I was going to write next. I was idea-less. But then one day I had a talk with the writer who edits my work and I started and got over that mountain. And finished the book in about three months! It was an eye-opening experience for me but now I know I can do it and it’s just a phase that everyone goes through.

  • Hi Patti,

    Thanks for stopping by. I’ve never been able to work on a novel length project every single day for more than a couple of weeks–even during Nanowrimo, I always miss at least three days–but I do usually do some writing in a day. It’s one of the joys of having a blog. I can just blog or write poetry in one of my many notebooks if I get stuck on a novel.

    I’m glad you managed to get over that writer’s block. It’s been a long time since I was blocked for more than a couple of weeks, and writer’s block can be absolutely brutal. When I get a particularly bad case of it, I like to read blogs about writing. Usually it manages to inspire me.

    Thanks for reading,

  • redparrot


    I am at 30K in my unfinished novels. I “make time” by putting on football or hockey on TV and then turing the volume way down and using my laptop to write. This way I can be watching TV (not really) and writing at the same time.

    It’s hard to find time to write and I find it easiest when there is a pattern to life where writing gets its proper place.

    Also – making room for reading your blog always seems to translate into more writing for me so I try hard to keep current with you. 😀


  • Hi RP,

    That’s interesting. I stopped listening to music while I wrote for a long time, but I’ve recently taken to listening to the LoTR soundtrack while I write. I find it makes me feel more epic. The TV thing doesn’t work for me, although my grandmother keeps the TV on very low at night because it helps her sleep.

    Patterns are very important. Some people like to keep their routine exact, and have one specific hour–or two, or three, or sometimes six if they’re really devoted–to write in every day, but personally I’m a very fluid writer. I often write poetry and brainstorm on the train, and usually after I check my email I write for a bit, but that’s all dependent on when I get home.

    I’m glad that I help your productivity. Blogging’s really helped mine and I’m looking forward to getting back into prompts. I love reading the stuff you write up to my prompts, too.

    Thanks for stopping by,

Comments are closed.