I live by this quote: "Write a little every day, without hope, without despair." (Isak Dinesen)
"Write a little every day..."
To manage to live in the world your writing creates - thus making it come alive - you have to visit every day. Goals such as word count seems less helpful to me as the writing waxes and wanes and there are periods which are very productive quantitively and others – more reflective ones – which are as productive qualitatively. But the writing must be revisited daily.
The moment you start writing “to be published”, you have lost it. You must remain true to yourself, to what you have inside you and not look at what people will like or at what will sell. This becomes so clear once you know you are going to be published. There is so much noise and if you let yourself get distracted by it, your writing peters out in the same pace as your confidence.
Writing is hard, but you must trust in ‘the muse,’ or in your subconscious who is at it all the time even when you don’t sit at your desk. When you get stuck, go for a walk, cook a lovely meal or play with your children. The answer will come when it’s ready.