First, I’m a person who has to concentrate-and concentrate exclusively-in order to accomplish anything. And second, I’m not a “facile” writer: I write slowly, with much sturm-und-drang. So I knew from the start that I can’t afford to just grab time when I can, or to wait for inspiration to strike. I have to make steady progress every day, or I’m doomed. (A music critic named Newman said of Beethoven, “Great composers do not compose because they are inspired. They become inspired because they are composing.” I don’t claim to be a great writer-how would I know?-but that’s one of my mottos.) And soon after I got going on Lord Foul’s Bane, I learned another crucial lesson: I have to pace myself. If I write as much as humanly possible one day, I’ll probably find myself too stunned to write anything the next. So I developed an approach which has served me well ever since: I’m in my office 8 to noon and 1 to 5 five days a week; I always quit at quitting time, no matter how I’m writing; and I never (well, almost never) work in the evenings, or on the weekends, or on holidays, or on vacation. This enables me to keep going day in and day out, week after week, month after month, until the first draft is complete. (Revision presents a different set of challenges, but I approach it in the same way.)
For some reason I'm always interested to read about writers' processes.