I find it interesting that most of the writers I know don't work in the same way I do. I edit as I type, rather than waiting till a whole draft is finished then going back and 'killing my babies'. It may be why I take a long time to get to my target word count, or it may just make it seem like I take longer.
I might have to keep reminding myself that the way I work produces a much smaller 'produced word count per working day', when I read other writer's journals...
We aren't all wired the same. I need to get into "flow" to produce my best work--in fiction at least. When I try to edit on the way, I lose track of the story. It's not a matter of tossing the precious, but not knowing what's really part of the story until the whole story is out there. Only then can I see that this bit here really belongs over there...that there's no foreshadowing of something that needs it...that this whole section is more about me (I just discovered something and wrote ALL about it) and not integral to the story.
People who can outline, though, can certainly edit on the way if that's what works for them.
Do you outline?
I don't really have a formal outline ahead of me either. I know approximately where I'm going with something, and have an idea about the layout of the story. These are of course subject to change if and when I realise that the characters wouldn't really do such-and-such, or the events X would impact on Y in a different way than I thought. Sometimes this does mean I write myself into a corner, which results in my throwing away everything back to a point where I can make a change that allows progression again.
Sometimes, a lot of times, I don't even get as far as writing, and just loop around in my head exploring potential progressions trying to find a way to 'get there from here' if I'm trying to get to where I think the story is supposed to be going.
This produces working days where I'll have zero, or negative wordcount.
I think better by writing, or drawing. Sometimes I can work things out in my head, but mostly I work them out by moving my fingers.
Perhaps it's because I used to be an actor, and tend to think of my writing as a performance, and so 'rehearse' in my head considerably before committing to page. It's also probably why early revisions of my writing are always dialogue heavy.
Aha! That makes sense. Backstory rules!
Whereas I, brought up by an engineer/architect/draftsman, etc., think of writing (at least at the draft stage) as designing and constructing, something that always started with my mother's hands busy...sketching, refining the sketch, moving parts around (if the project was that kind) to get a better fit. She not only drew things that others built, she built things herself; she also sewed, knit, crocheted, needlepointed her own designs. She was always making something, for us if not for work.
So for me, writing a first draft is like all the background work that goes into design...and it involves the hands, the actual visible doing, as well as the research and the thinking. When I'm really stuck, I go back to pencil and paper.
I think of the final version as performance--or perhaps it's the reading that to me is performance, a partnership of writer, who provided the design, and the reader, who gives it his/her own individual flavor by how it's read. (Even if not aloud.) I design the garden and build it, with its rooms, its views, its surprises, its sounds and sights and smells; the reader walks in it, mostly on the path I laid out (but they can always skip ahead...) and if it works, they enjoy it and walk through it again.
Well, my word count since 15 Sept is just shy of 18,000. No, I'm NOT comparing myself to you, because we're each in Very Different Places right now. Indeed, your word-count posts, far from discouraging me, have actually been very motivating. I *know* I can't write 5,000 words a day, not considering that I have a full-time day job that is, er, writing. But seeing you produce that much kinda kicks me in the b*tt to get in at least my 500 words a day.
And, hey, after all that overload at work, I'm really happy to be producing again! In all of June, July, and August combined, I wrote about the same amount I've written in the past month. So, heck...YAY! It looks like the first draft of the book should be done sometime in November. It wasn't all that long ago I was despairing of getting the first draft done by the end of the year. Since I have the whole month of December off, if my agent gets his feedback to me, I might well have a submission-ready draft done by year-end!
Very different situations. You have a day job. You are coming off a crunch situation in the day job.
There are no rules for how MUCH to write (except--enough to meet a deadline!)
The rule is "keep writing..." Good books have been written slow, fast, front to back, back to front, in parallel streams...that part doesn't matter. What matters is what you get at the far end.