I wrote eleven hundred words today. Anything over a thousand is a good day for me. Six hundred is acceptable and fifteen hundred is extraordinary. I won’t be entering a contest to write a fifty thousand word novel this November. On the other hand I don’t spend my days inserting commas in the morning and deleting them in the afternoon.
Speed doesn’t matter. It doesn’t. Mickey Spillane, the late pulp/mystery writer, could crank out a Mike Hammer novel in less than a month. I loved Mike Hammer, but even as a teen I realized it wasn’t great literature or even particularly good writing. I’m not impressed by anyone who can write a fifty thousand word novel in a month. I can do that, but it will be an unsalvageable piece of utter crap that will go straight into my recycling bin as soon as I receive my Nano award. Why would I bother?
So, how long should it take to write a novel? Obviously, it depends on the length of the book and the amount of editing and revisions required, as well as the writer’s work pace. The real answer is that it takes as long as it takes to make it something worth reading. Readers don’t care how fast or how slow an author works as long as the finished product is good.
I write every day at my own pace. I’m faster than the tortoise but slower than the hare. It doesn’t matter because it isn’t a race.