The game of writing is a patient one. One that requires stops and turns, breaks and many, many deletions as your characters take over in fiction or as you mull over syntax and wonder if “stop” or “thwart” would be a better descriptive choice to best convey your meaning in creative nonfiction.
As far as first drafts go, the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all is a daunting, common one. I’m almost done re-reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and page 527 is where I find relief and room to breathe again. Of his protagonist and her writing process, he writes, “There was so much to consider, so many things in danger of being left out. Just be patient, she told herself, and with the mounting pages, the strength of her writing fist grew.”
Zusak’s words concerning Liesel’s writing process serves as both a comfort and reminder that while writing can, and often does, take a long time to come to fruition, it’s okay that it’s time (and soul) consuming. Whatever your writing process is, if you can churn out 15 pages in a day or just five paragraphs, it’s okay. So long as writing gets done and you are growing in your craft, that’s all that matters.