I’m moving along at a measured pace – adding an average of 300 words a day to my current book. Not that the number of words matters to me, it doesn’t. The only reason I mention it is to let new writers know there are all kinds of writers. Some let the words gush out and try to type fast enough to catch them all. Some, like me, have to pull each word, kicking and screaming, into the world. Some have a compulsion to write; others make a conscious choice. How you write, how often, how many words you write per day are all unimportant, unless, of course, you are a writer under contract. But if you are a writer under contract, you would be writing, not reading this blog.
In the end, the only thing that counts is the finished story. The story doesn’t care how long it took you to write it. It doesn’t care if you bled words onto the paper or created it slowly, one puzzle piece at a time. A finished story exists complete and entire of itself, separate from the author and the author’s work habits.
Sometimes we wonder how our favorite authors write, but mostly we devour (or savor) their works, wanting only to immerse ourselves in the story. If it moves us to tears, makes us laugh or shiver, that’s all we care about for the moment. We don’t care how long it took for the author to create the effect. Being writers, of course, we might go back later and see how it was done, but at the time, all we are interested in is the story.
So, here’s the truth. You can call yourself a writer or not. You can write a thousand words a day or not. You can write every day or not. The only thing that counts is the story.
That’s what we novelists are all aiming for.