I've been writing a young adult novel for the last, hold on...seventeen days. I'm about 28,000 words into it, which I assume is a little over halfway, since I'm aiming at about 50,000 total. Of course, who can say, until the story is told, exactly how many words it will take? My goal is to finish this draft by the time summer vacation is over, which is just a little over a month from today. To meet that goal, I have been trying to write about 1000 words each day. Of course, the caveat is that some days the words are terrible, and I have to rewrite them the next day, but it's the writing them out the first time that's really hard for me. Sometimes.
Sometimes they flow out effortlessly, ecstatically, a ribbon of words streaming in the breeze of my sub-conscious. Other times it's pure labor; I often compare it to the process of laboring and giving birth, and it's true it is an act of creation, a sort of life-giving. Sometimes each word sqeeeeeeeezes out slowly and painfully, after much pacing and position-shifting, pleading and doubting. Just like with giving birth, there really is no way to turn back. It doesn't matter how painful it is, it has to come out, one way or another.
It's great to write on those evenings when I feel on top of the story, when my words just fly off the tips of my fingers, but I think it's almost more important for me to write on the nights that I balk at it, that I have to drag myself through each paragraph. Writing is an art, a product of inspiration, but it's also work. It's putting one word after another after another, mixing them together to create some kind of (hopeful) harmony.
Now I've procrastinated long enough; my 1000 words await.