Since I throw out about half of what I write, I should probably aim for 1,200 a day, just to be safe. And then, in the evenings, research and editing, and in the cracks and crevices various other assignments and the (forgive me, P.) rather boring work I do that helps to pay the bills. (Which all feels nearly impossible, considering that on my good days, I've been able to do about 3 hours worth of work.) And thanks to the economics of the publishing business, I'll still be toiling in relative poverty.
600 words a day sounds manageable -- Bird by Bird, as Anne Lamott would say, bird by bird, baby. What keeps me awake at night is the days I know I will miss, or write horrible, awful stuff that no one could ever print. Or be mysteriously unable to get off the couch again. And then I will get to a Saturday and be 3,600 or 7,200 words behind and the most attractive option, at that point, will be to slit my wrists.
It's at this point in the process that sheer panic sets in. WHAT THE #@$#! WAS I THINKING? Why exactly did I think I could write a book about JANE AUSTEN -- only one of the most beloved writers EVER? And more importantly, WHY DIDN'T YOU STOP ME?
(If you've ever thought about writing a book, please reconsider now.)
I am considering crawling under a rock to await my fate. Maybe you will hear from me again. Maybe you will not.
If I could afford the ticket to Oxford, you would find me mumbling and shuffling along the Folly Bridge at night. That sounds like a lovely life, actually...