Many writers will tell you that you need to WRITE EVERY DAY in order to be successful. Personally, I don't agree with this staunch position. I think you need to write A LOT, but if you miss a day - even two or three in a row from time to time - I think you're fine as long as you continue to write regularly. But really it depends on what kind of person and writer you are.

But for the sake of my question let's just say you do write every day.

Suppose you are in the outlining phase on a new project. You dedicate, oh let's say three hours sitting at your desk in front of your laptop or at a coffee shop with a notebook or whatever your process is. You spend most of that time brainstorming. Thinking. Maybe doing a bit of research online. Occasionally jotting down a note or a potential plot detail or character quirk or bit of dialogue. Technically you're putting a few words down, but you're not really WRITING writing.

So, if you're a "write every day" person do you consider this brainstorming session to be writing? Or would you still set aside some time to bang out 1000 words of prose (or whatever you've mandated for yourself) on some unrelated project?