I took a book-critique class in college, and one of the students was frustrated that her book was progressing slower than she wanted. She still loved her book, but she was so frustrated that she came close to abandoning the project.
I told her, “Your book is worth the time it will take to take to finish it. You can take ten years if you need to, as long as it gets done.”
Another student sat across the table glaring at me. She did this every class. I’m not sure why she hated me so much. When she heard my advice, she sneered and said, “You can’t do that if you want to be a real writer.”
Despite her evilness, she had a point. Most of the Pros have strong work ethics and do whatever it takes to spit those words out every day.
This made me think of when I started Sacred Fire as a newly-wed sophomore in college. I didn’t have the time to write a book, so I just researched and wrote as I felt like it.
I finally decided to buckle down and do whatever it took to get it done. I used force, guilt, rewards, persuasion, and self-loathing. The pressure I put on myself was crippling. I didn’t get much done – certainly less than before.
You may want to be like “the pros,” but your desire to be published is not worth sacrificing your ability to write. Your priority is to love your book. If writing is hit-and-miss for you, like it was for me for a while, that’s okay. Eventually your book will be done, and that’s worth being patient.