There is a pervasive myth that writing “fast” is writing bad. The myth is based on the notion that if you write a novel in a period of days instead of at least several months, it must be badly written. That’s just not true.
Productivity in writing boils down to two things: discipline (which is to say, a work ethic) and Heinlein’s Rules, especially Rule 3 in this case.
Not too long ago one woman told me she could spend all day on one sentence.
Seriously? How boring must that be?
If you’re going over and over and over your writing, counting the number of times you use “that” or “which” and making sure you alternate them (they’re not interchangeable) or checking sentence structure (yaaawn, stretch), then yeah, it’s gonna take you a year or two or ten to write your novel.
And you know what? When you finally finish, it’s going to be horrible. You will have polished all the good off of your work.
Write the thing. Just write it.
Write it as well as you can per your current skill level, finish it, ship it off to a first reader and maybe a proofreader to look for mixups between things like “waist” and “waste” or “rode” and “road.”
Then publish it.
Then start the next one.
All of that comprises step one to being a professional writer.
Step two is spending time in the chair.
I was saying in a presentation a few days ago (as I write this), would you call yourself a mechanic if you only spent a few hours a month under the hood of a car?
Now learning is good. In fact, it’s essential. But no matter how much you learn about being a mechanic, you aren’t a mechanic if you don’t spend some time fixing cars.
Endlessly attending seminars and conferences about being a mechanic is not being a mechanic.
Talking about being a mechanic is not being a mechanic.
Thinking about being a mechanic is not being a mechanic.
Being a mechanic means getting under the hood and doing your job.
Same thing goes for writing.
If you call yourself a writer, shouldn’t you actually write? Okay, it’s a free country. You certainly may call yourself anything you want, but you can’t actually BE a writer if you don’t write.
I write 1,000 words per hour. If that sounds like a lot, do the math. It’s 17 words per minute. That leaves me a lot of time for staring off into space, researching the name of that particular type of pastry the character wants to buy, etc.
Then I spend three or four or five hours in the chair. Every day.
Yep, I have a job that I only have to work three or four or five hours per day.
If you spend only three hours per day doing your job, Mr. or Ms. Writer Person, and if you hit around 17 words per minute, and if you do that only five days per week, taking weekends off, you will write 15,000 words per week. That’s a 60,000 word novel in 4 weeks.
Now why again do you think it should take a year or two to write a novel?
Decide to write the best story you can the first time through, then spend the time in the chair, and you’ll be amazed at how much good writing you turn out.