So, whenever I'm asked to give writing advice, my response is to not listen to advice.
Things from daily word counts to character sheets, outlines, and the 'proper' way to write descriptions or characters came charging at me. Over the years, it hasn't stopped. In 2015, I had a prospective editor tell me I needed to get proper educational qualifications and attend writing workshops. She hadn't read a single sentence from my manuscript. Her advice was given purely because I filled out her questionnaire and said I had no educational background. My numerous awards and praise from major sources meant nothing. I needed to take college writing courses and workshops because that's what she felt was the proper way to go about being an author.
At first, I took every piece of advice to heart, thinking that if it worked for an accomplished author who has ten books published, it absolutely must work for me. However, most of the time, it didn't. I became frustrated and annoyed with myself, thinking that I was doing something wrong.
The truth is, there isn't a 'right' or 'wrong' way to do most things in this world, and writing certainly fits in that category. Advice is given because it worked for that person, and they share it in the hopes they can help someone else. Yes, they're adamant about it, because it worked for them, but at the end of the day, it's still advice. It doesn't mean it will work for you, and you're not doing something wrong if that's the case.
- I'm not a character sheet or an outline person. My brain doesn't work well with that amount of structure. For others, they can't begin writing without having everything mapped out.
- I don't set daily word-count goals, because for me, forcing words when they're not coming easily does more harm than good. You might be completely opposite. For you, setting that goal might be what keeps you motivated.
- I don't have any educational training in writing, and I intend to keep it that way. I have my own style that works, and I learn and improve my writing through less traditional methods that work well for me. Some writers thrive on classes and workshops and attend at least one every year.
- I hand-write everything first and then type up the day's work every evening. I focus the best with that method. If you're having trouble focusing, I'd suggest giving it a try, but that doesn't mean it will work for you.
The list could go on forever.
Think of advice as a tool. Pick it up. Try it out. See if it fits. But be prepared to throw it away. Just because it was the right tool for a fellow author's project, doesn't mean it will be the right tool for yours.
And that, my friend, is perfectly fine.