I'm sick to death of hearing published authors carry on about how writing is a grueling task on a level with working in the coal mines.
Of course, your experience may differ.
But that's the whole point of this post, really--your experience may differ.
I think it's an important point to make, because novice writers are so quick to believe anything that an experienced writer says. I've been making my living primarily as a writer for about a dozen years. If I can get in a focused 5-6 hours of writing, I generally turn out about 5,000 words in a day, which may require light editing later.
Obviously, it's not like that for everyone--there are very successful writers who claim to hate the process of writing. Even Dorothy Parker said she didn't like writing, she liked "having written". I know writers for whom that's dead on. For me, I have no interest in "having written". The magic is all in the process for me...I lose interest in a work pretty quickly when it's done and only have eyes for the new blank page in front of me.
The single most important thing that a new or aspiring writer can know is that it's DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE.
- If writing is a lot more work than you expected it to be, don't get discouraged--many very successful authors describe the writing process and arduous and even painful.
- If writing flows out of your fingertips onto the page as if the words had just been waiting, already in order, to be released, don't assume you're a lightweight--many successful authors report that they feel like the words and stories "come from somewhere else".
- If you rely on outlines, great--write an outline. Many authors depend heavily on them.
- If you prefer to just sit down and write and see what happens, go for it. Regardless of what outline-dependent authors preach, you'll be in the company of several wildly successful authors--including Stephen King--if you opt to let your characters lead you.
- If you like to edit each day's work at the end of the day, or first thing the next morning, and that works out for you...do it. If it's more comfortable for you not to look back until you've reached the end...fine.
- Some writers do well with a very disciplined schedule, and some "binge write". As long as you're producing quality work and meeting your deadlines, it's no one's business but your own whether you write for two hours every morning or for twenty straight hours on Saturday.
Be the writer you are. That's the only "writing tip" that works for every writer.