Some of these aren’t resolutions. They’re recriminations. Self-recriminations. The person who tells you most loudly that you have to write 500 words each day in 2014?—just might be the one who didn’t manage it (damn it) in 2013.
But I’ll say it again, in everyone’s defense: we’re being driven to this stark-staring fixation on word counts by the Digital Enablement. Nobody dast blame us. This is Boom Town, baby. Everybody can publish, publish, publish. Who cares if you have nothing to say? Write a book, anyway. No, write four. Per year. If you don’t, you’re a wuss. Five-hundred words…I told you that part already, right? Okay.
— Porter Anderson on publish! publish! publish!
2012 until early 2013 was my most prolific writing period ever, and I ended up turning out an average of a thousand words a day (of fiction, not counting blog posts or other writing). I mostly did that by, a) chopping things up into much smaller works, with faster releases and instant feedback, and b) allowing myself the room to experiment, without worrying too much about the end product.
I learnt a lot in that time, and would definitely recommend a Year Of Writing Everything for the experience alone. Still. Four commercial novels a year is a bit beyond me; my current target is one, pushing out to two in a year or so.
For the record, I do try and write every day, even if it’s only a sentence or two. I usually manage it, but don’t beat myself up if I don’t. My writing speed is pretty variable; I’ve done 20k words in a year and I’ve done it in a week and I’ve done it in a day. Discipline gets me through the slumps–sit down, open Scrivener, stare–but when the words come, they come.