Writers work at all different paces. I learned that recently at the Afternoon with the Authors event at the Shawano Library.
Some writers can sit down on a Friday and have a fifty-thousand-word manuscript completed by Monday morning, others spend years working on the same project.
Over the past ten years, it has taken less and less time for me to complete a writing project. The Haunting Love took me a little over a year to complete. Finding Elizabeth and Out of Darkness were on and off the back burner for 2 years, during which time Out of Darkness had three different versions before I reached what it finally became.
But after that, I finished Into the Light in one month, during NaNoWriMo 2015 and Through the Fog was written in 3 months hard-writing time. Eternal Fire was shorter in length, only taking 6 weeks to write and then CurseBreaker poured out of me last NaNoWriMo.
Now I'm working on my seventh full-length novel (eighth major writing project), Headless, which I am on track to finish (hopefully) by the end of June. This will make it another 3-month project.
I've fallen into a pattern. I've learned that two major writing projects a year is what works best for me and for my writing project. In the spring I can commit more time to writing one project, then rest up over the end of summer and start planning that big push, the big NaNoWriMo project as fall begins. That way I don't push myself too hard, I keep up with my publishing deadlines, and I don't feel the burnout as much.
Burnout is the one thing I, as a writer, fear. I admit it, I'm a workaholic. When I'm not writing, I'm blogging, when I'm not blogging I'm reading a book to review. I work on promotion, writing, and publishing during the day when able, then stay up, sometimes until 2 am or later writing again. But I figure, at this pace, I can give myself plenty of downtime throughout the year.
It's all about finding what's comfortable for you. Don't feel the need to push yourself to compete with another writer who's working at a different pace. It's your story, and although it's occasionally fun to be competitive (like during NaNoWriMo), in the end, it's about writing something that can be shaped into a publishable product in the end.
Are you a writer? What is your average time spent working on a project? Do you have more than one project going on at a time? Let me know in the comments!