I am not a fast writer. I continually read about writers (all far more successful than I) who can write a novel in 16 days, or a month, or even a week. I am in awe of their capabilities. Last year I tried to force myself to write faster, but in a workshop, when the workshop leader asked, ‘who doesn’t write at least 500 words an hour’, I was the only person in the room who raised my hand. Everybody looked at me with an expression somewhere between shock and pity. I felt…well, lacking.
To be honest, I’ve never really timed myself against the clock. I have a daily quota of words to write. Sometimes I get through it in a couple hours, sometimes it takes all day. Generally, it takes me 4-5 hours to write 1250 words. I average 33-38Kwords a month. Every month.
I’m not slow because I type slowly. But I am thinking/creating as I type, and intentionally trying to speed up my creative process just makes me crazy. I write just as fast as I need to write to get the story I want to tell on the page. I believe that the speed will come in time (maybe in the next million words or three), but even if it doesn’t, I’ve got something else going for me, and that’s consistency.
The lesson for me is to stop comparing myself to other writers. It’s not a competition. For now, I’m content to be a half-fast writer.