Some authors are known to write 10K+ a day, and a few members were wondering how they ever managed to do this, and tried to compare themselves to it.
We ended up talking about this and, bottom line: don’t compare yourself to others and find your own writing pace.
Everyone writes at their own speed, and I fully believe that you should let go of whatever expectations others might have from you (deadlines aside perhaps, if you have them) and stop comparing yourself to authors who write a lot (and probably do this full-time, where most of us have a full-time job and write in our free time). Just because they do, doesn’t mean you have to as well. There’s a reason why you’re not writing at that pace—because it’s probably not your pace!
Don’t turn high word counts from other people into a competition. Let it go, unless you see it as encouragement—but never feel like you should match their pace. They’re them, you’re you. And that’s important to remember. If you try to force yourself into something that doesn’t work for you, all you’ll get in return is frustration. That frustration might block your creative pool, and that will affect your writing. So just don’t.
I have days where I write 8-12K, and days where I don’t even make 250 words. And that’s okay. There’s a reason why some days I write a lot, and some days I don’t. In the end, it’s not about how much you write, but that you make an effort. All you have to do is sit down, commit, and try. Try. Just that. Some days that will lead to nice word counts, and other days you might stand up, heave a deep sigh and think, “This isn’t working.” You should be able to do this without guilty.
Guilt is the other thing we talked about. Some of them feel guilty if they aren’t writing, and felt there is a taboo on taking a writing break. I’ve not experienced this myself, but then again, I don’t care much about what others think of me when it comes to writing anyway—because I write for myself, and no one is going to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do. I don’t have an agent at this point, and the only deadlines I have are those I set for myself. And those are flexible, if need be (although I do try to stick to them—I just work better with them!)
Sometimes you just don’t feel like writing. And sometimes, that one day will turn into a week, and the week might turn into months. If you feel like you need a break, take it. Of course, this will be more difficult if you are on a deadline. If you feel like people will look down on you for taking that break, stop it. It’s your life. It’s your story. You can do whatever the heck you want.
So if you’ve ever felt pressure to reach a certain word count because others do, stop it. If you’re feeling guilty because you’re not writing as much as others do, or because you’re taking a break, stop it. Stop caring about what others think. Find a pace that works for you. Our world is competitive enough as it is. Don’t add this to your passion. Don’t let it BURN your passion.
Find your own pace, and stick to it. And allow yourself a break every now and then. It works wonders for your body, mind and health. :-)