I just started the 500 Words a Day Challenge that runs from July 23 until the end of the year. A few writers are doing 1,000 words a day, and I wish I could do that, too. But with the Boy and all, I don't want to commit to writing 1,000 words when I'm not sure I can meet the goal. There are days when he's a perfect angel, but there are also days when he is just impossible to please or creates lots of work. For example, on Saturday he was responsible for creating three loads of urgent laundry. (I never thought a human being that weighs only twelve pounds could do that!)
I suppose I could take time off until the end of the year, but I'm afraid that I might get rusty. I can't speak for others, but for me writing is like playing the piano. The more I write, the better I become.
500 words is doable if I manage what free time I have carefully. If I must, I can stay up after the Boy has fallen asleep at night (he doesn't sleep much during the day). 500 words seems so much more manageable than 1,000 words, and the psychological effect can make me knock out those words even though I'm tired.
It may not seem like a lot to those who are really prolific, but if I write at least 500 words a day until December 31, I'll have 81,000 words written. And that's a novel.