How many words a day should I write? How many words should a novel have? I hear it so often my head hurts.
Don’t count words, make every word count.
Talking about quantity without talking about quality makes no sense. Especially in the writing world, where the priority of quality over quantity is overwhelming like nowhere else.
Not only it means that you have to sacrifice quantity in the name of quality, it also means you must get rid of everything that doesn’t meet your standards of good writing. You can’t improve your best draft by adding something less impressive on top of it: this way, you’ll only make it worse.
It’s obvious that even megabytes of dull and unimaginative text will never substitute a few lines that blow readers away. Those few lines are really worth the effort it takes to write a thousand pages. “Sometimes it takes me a whole month just to write one line,” Haruki Murakami once wrote.
In this field, everything that’s less than awesome is absolutely worthless.
One thing about improving your writing skills: don’t get too carried away and bear in mind that you have to make your readers feel good, not to show them how good you are. Let your work speak for itself.