Monday, January 9, 2017

How Long Does It Take To Write A Book?

By far the #1 question I've been asked by non-writer friends and family since they heard I was publishing my first novel, even more than "What is it about?" is  - how long did it take to write?


One year.

And then four years to find an agent.

And then one and a half years to sell the manuscript.

And then the standard two years from accepted offer to final, published book.

During this time I was constantly revising and rewriting, from the work I chose to do on my own to improve the manuscript to the requested revisions that came in from the first round of queries to the editor that eventually bought the book.

And this was for my third solid attempt at a novel length work of fiction.

So, all in all, it took a year to write a book, but when I count up all the years between when I first decided to write seriously for publication, and when my first novel will be out on shelves, the grand total is


One year to write a book, but 14 to make it from aspiring writer to published author.
Some writers, many writers in fact, take far less time to get there. But I don't begrudge the time it took. I loved those years. Many wonderful, amazing things happened to me in those years. All of that time, and all of that writing, and all of those rejections resulted in a book I really, truly love, and the opportunity to work with some wonderful people. I hope I can continue. I have many more books in me. (I didn't spend that entire time writing just the one book, after all.) I would love to get the chance to bring at least a few of them into the world to stand alongside THE STAR THIEF.
So if you aren't quite there yet, if you're still just working on that first draft of your first book, or in the querying process or wondering if you've been at this too long and you're never going to get there, here's a little reminder that there is no time limit. As long as you are willing to keep working, every wonderful outcome is still a possibility.

And now I have to get back to revising chapters on a new project. Hopefully I will one day get to share more about this one with the world, too!


Mirka Breen said...

Fourteen years? Oh, good. I've got time, yet. ;)

Seriously, inception to bookstore shelf can be anywhere from two to twenty-two years. You just don't know when you celebrate the milestone of finishing the first draft, heart all a-thumping and visions of a hard cover swooshing in your mind, how long the road and where it will lead to.

Lily Cate said...

So true. And the road only ends when you step off of it.