As much as I would like vast swathes of time to write, most of what I do happens in small windows of moments*.
Last week, while I was on holidays, I had a few days where I could actually devote more than an hour to working on my current novel, I got around ten thousand words done, and finished the latest draft, solving a few fundamental structural problems as well.
Which is great, I felt like I got some serious work done, and I did. But that is work built on tiny steps, and without those tiny steps, the great leaps would not have happened.
I try and write every day, and I don't really care how much I get done, because in the end it adds up. Because, in the end, what you are doing is keeping the tiny flickering flame that is your story alight, so that when you do have time, whenever and wherever it presents itself, you will be ready. Sometimes I might only get a hundred words written, other times it may be a thousand or even more.
But it adds up.
Sometimes I don't even have time to write, so I'll get word to read me the work in progress, while I clean. You learn a lot by having the cold dead voice of a computer read your work to you. Odd repetitions, weird word choices, all start to become apparent, and without the correction of a modulating and dramatic reading voice (which can often hide the sins of bad writing) they really stand out.
I'm happy with where this book is going, but it wouldn't be going anywhere if I wasn't forgiving enough to acknowledge that I have very little time, and to work with it.
Incremental writing is slow. But writing a novel is slow. And it will get you there, if you give it time, if you are kind to yourself.
No matter how fast or slow you write a book it still spins itself into being one word at a time**.
*I like to remind myself this every now and then.