Writers all have different strategies for completing projects. Ernest Hemingway liked to stop his work for the day in the middle of a sentence. That way, when he returned to it, right away he was immersed in the action and knew exactly where he was going. Graham Greene wrote 500 words a day. Apparently he got so good at identifying 500 words, that he would also stop mid-sentence, knowing he had reached his goal. Stephen King has said he writes 2000 words a day. On Twitter, Melissa Marr (author of the WICKED LOVELY series) said she doesn't write every day, but when she does, she'll write something like 5000 words.
I began my OctAnNoNaNoWriMowithNoGuilt-0 pursuits intending to write a novel in 6 weeks. I wanted to write 1500 words a day. That hasn't happened. I've switched projects, was attacked by plot demons and self doubt. I've finally gotten back to work, but I'm averaging around 500 words a day. It feels terribly slow. No where near even my NoGuilt-o pace, let alone NaNoWriMo pace.
But I feel okay. The story is finally going somewhere. I'm beginning to have fun. My characters and plot are slowly unfolding in front of me. So every morning I've given myself permission to stop as soon as my scene for the day is written. Sometimes it takes 3 hours. Sometimes it takes thirty minutes.
And on those days I wonder if it's enough. Should I push myself harder? Is it okay to be Graham Greene and write 500 words or just one scene? Or if I've got the time, should I push on, make the most of it?
Lately I've been choosing happiness and well-being over pushing myself. Who knows if it will be the right decision, but since it's working for me now, I haven't fought it. How hard do you push yourself to write? Do you always reach your goal? Do you ever aim for more than your goal?