There are very few of us, the writers who will admit publicly to not valuing daily writing. Not just not doing it or scheduling it, but not seeing the point at all.
Let me back up. I know plenty of successful writers who are much more disciplined than I am. They get up early or stay up late or tap away while their kids leap around them. They have word counts and time limits, and they produce good books -- even if they have day jobs-- at a fairly consistent pace.
I won't do it.
My young adult novel, THE OBVIOUS GAME, comes out on February 7, two days after my thirty-ninth birthday and about twenty-two years after I developed a pretty bad case of anorexia. My 15-year-old protagonist, Diana, has a mom with cancer, a wrestler boyfriend, and yes, an increasingly serious battle with anorexia.
It took me at least ten years to recover from my eating disorder mentally, even though I looked pretty normal after three. Here's what I learned during my recovery: I don't deal well with "shoulds." I am, however, very good with self-motivation.
I worked on THE OBVIOUS GAME once or twice a week for two years, then kept revising it as needed throughout the process of finding an agent and a publisher. I spent a lot of time thinking about the story and my characters and the scene I was working on between my writing sessions, but I only sat down with that intent maybe 120 times in two years, sometimes for an hour and sometimes for six. If I'd put a daily word count or time limit on myself, I know I would've spent far more time worrying about when I was going to write than what I would be writing about.
When I was sick, all I could think about was when I was going to eat and exercise next, to the extent that those thoughts crowded out everything else. That happens to me very easily when I adopt rigid daily goals for myself.
Ironically, the only way I can effectively write is to not thinking about actual writing unless I am actually doing it at the time.
Right now I'm focusing on getting people to give THE OBVIOUS GAME a look, but in a few months I'll be getting back to the novel I started about six months ago. I learned a lot about myself while working on THE OBVIOUS GAME. I won't be giving myself a deadline to finish, a daily word count or a daily time limit. I've learned I can easily write words, but if they suck, what's the point? After one awful day when I cut 10,000 words in two hours, I now much prefer to have thought things through beforehand, then write in sporadic but more productive bursts. That works for me.
Other people may find value in daily goals, but I can't think of anything more toxic to my writing brain.