I did 610 words in about four hours and "finished" with "The Pearl Diver." Actually, I wrote well over a thousand words, but I only kept 610 of them. I wrote an entire ending for the story, discarded it, and then wrote another ending (the 610-word one). This is the roughest time I've had with a short story in ages. Spooky and I sat down and read through the whole thing. Next week, I'm going to send it out to two or three friends to read, before I send it to the editor of the anthology for which it was written. I don't usually do that, but this is an exception.
Never mind that I've written and sold sixty-something short stories, six novels, and the gods only know what else, this one made me feel like a complete beginner. Worse. It made me feel like a nitwit. Like I had no idea whatsoever what I was doing.
You never learn to write.
There's never a point where you could do this with your eyes closed, so to speak.
I'm so frelling tired I hurt. I'm going to go lie on the floor and moan until someone makes me eat.