Actually, some of those courses and books are quite good. But my point is that if you’re feeling anxious about the number of words you did or didn’t write yesterday you're not alone, you've fallen into the Writer’s Productivity Trap.
Donald Maass divides writers into two categories: storytellers and status seekers. What’s really interesting is that while you may start off a storyteller it can be easy, under the pressure of the industry, to start adopting status seeker traits.
Status seekers, on the other hand, tend to live by the motto “get it in the mail, keep it in the mail”. They want to know how they can make their manuscripts acceptable and tend to be obsessed with promotion e.g. “Why throw money at authors who are already best-sellers? How am I supposed to grow if my publisher doesn’t spend some bucks pushing me?”
In contrast, Maass identifies that a status seeker will rush to send him “the first fifty pages and an outline a few months after the workshop” whilst a storyteller won’t show him their novels again for up to a year or more and certainly after several new drafts.
There will undoubtedly be status seekers in the industry with the sole intention of achieving the same sort of “glory” that JK Rowling did but there’s very little chance of that because they’ll be missing the key ingredient that inspires that sort of success and that is passion.
But as Donald Maass identifies, he’d much rather you be a storyteller. He’d much rather you send him the novel after a year than in five minutes. He’d much rather you have a storyteller’s passion and desire to write the best story possible than to churn out manuscripts as though you’ve been bitten by a radioactive spider (poor Mary Sue). Your editor isn’t going to forget your existence in less than three seconds.
We’re not in this to write the most books in history. We’re in it to write a story that no one will ever forget.
The speed you write at is perfect for the next international bestseller.