Writing Tip #1 Progress is progress.
So when it comes to writing there are many aspects to the art. From research to world building to actually putting to words down on the pages. And with that said when it comes to writing a book you need to appreciate the small victories and count progress as progress.
Even if you spend hours on the web searing reference material for your novel and the occasional youtube video but you don't actually "write" anything down that is still progress.
I have spent a lot of time working on the world of Arvain. So much so that I couldn't really give a good estimation but its more time then a full time job would take up. But it wasn't always writing. I spent lots of time doing research and thinking up new ideas for later books and drawing out maps.
I worked for months on the anatomy of the dragons alone, doing countless hours of research on reptiles and fantasy dragons. During that time I did very little actual writing but because of the backstage work I did I feel like the novels are better for it.
To be honest though it did get discouraging when my writing friends were spitting out novels at a Stephen King pace, one every three months, and they weren't doing have the leg work. It actually got so bad that I thought about giving up writing until I started seeing fruit from my labor.
Fans began writing to me about how much they loved the details and how clear the and crisp the world of Arvain was laid out. It all was worth it and now that I am wrapping up my second novel I have learned that if set small goals for yourself and celebrate each and every victory then you will enjoy the process so much more and your work will shine even brighter!!