Today, finishing the day's NaNoWriMo pages (I haven't put them onto my page at the site yet, nor answered messages there, because the site is incredibly slow) I realized I do all of my writing in one of two gears: Fast or Slow. When I'm trying to write carefully and well, I'm in Slow Gear. I spend huge amounts of time staring out the window, winding my hair around my fingers, erasing, paging through books. I have no idea how long it takes to write a page in this mode; I lose track of time, plus I'm sure it varies. But when I'm doing NaNoWriMo or writing any kind of first draft not meant for the eyes of others, I write at a very specific pace: 15 minutes per page.
If I try to write faster, at a ten-minute per page pace, it's likely not to make sense. Sentence logic falls apart and everything turns into garbled stream-of-consciousness. If I slow down to 20 minutes per page, I find myself trying too hard to make everything perfect, and I slow down even more. For some reason, 15 minutes per page keeps everything running smoothly -- I have enough time to compose, but not quite enough time to think.
However, what I come up with is rarely any good. It takes endless slapping and poking and squeezing to make it workable. Lately -- and this is probably the source of my trouble these last few years, my not-finishing trouble -- is that it feels more productive to write a few more speedy pages than to do the hard work of revision.
JRL tells me it's ALL about revision. I should know this by now, but I never quite believe it.