J. K. Rowling took five years to write the first Harry Potter.
It's okay to write slow.
Those of us who take a year or more to draft a novel are tempted to believe we're doing something wrong. Like we're too lazy, managing our time wrong, editing our words too much, or (God forbid) not meant to be writers at all. Some of those things might be true, but slow writing doesn't prove it.
(Terry Pratchett wrote his first novel at 400 words a day.)
You might be climbing a learning curve. My first novel took me 5 years to draft, 2 to edit. My second took me two years total. It's still slow, but I'm getting better. You will too. That's what practice does.
(The Harry Potter series took an average of 2 years per book to write.)
You might be a planner. Natalie Whipple can tell you that fast drafts don't mean finished products. They need a lot of editing after they're "done." Not that slow drafts are perfect, but sometimes slow can mean cleaner.
(George R. R. Martin took 6 years to finish the latest Song of Ice and Fire book. I still bought it.)
You might be unpublished. There are really only two reasons you have to write fast: (1) you signed a contract with a deadline or (2) you write to put food on the table. The rest of us have the freedom to write at whatever pace we want, learning as we go.
(Susanna Clarke took 10 years to finish her debut novel, which won some awards and got optioned for a lot of money.)
You might have a life. Maybe you have a full-time job, a family, and an X-Box. Kids are a full-time job on their own (I know, I have ten) and worth more than a publishing contract. Not that you shouldn't go for the contract too, but if you're sacrificing writing speed to play Guitar Hero with your daughter, I call that a win.
There are reasons writing can take a long time, many of them good.
Live life. Write slow.
(remixed from a guest post I did for Natalie Whipple)