How long to write a book?
Holly Robinson author of 'Beach Plum Island' and the 'The Wishing Hill' says in her blog 4 - 10 years. That question was asked at the Newburyport Literary Conference. Moderated by O Magazine editor Lucy Kaylin.
Does that offer hope?
It's almost like asking how long is a piece of string. I think it depends on how much time you have in your life, the subject you are writing about, and oh yeah, let's not even mention horrible 'writer's block.' I have to write when I'm in the mood. If I have a set schedule the creative juices just don't seem to flow.
Interesting. How is it there in the UK this moment? Nice I hope. I just went back to review all those books I started last year - 3. Now, how to choose one . . . only one to begin that quest of 4 - 10 years while continuing exploring writing. hmmm ..
I love writing, I just wish I could do it quicker. As for the weather, the heavens just opened up with hail that looked as neat as bean bag filler, I lost Internet connection for 10 min, but now the sun is shining and I'm back online. Yay
Hooray! Great to have a connection I am sure. As I am awake in the wee hours here in California there is rain dancing outside the window. A blessing for us since we are in a drought. Almost 1" (2.5cm) fell yesterday. The garden will love that.
Lesley I have a very dearest friend in Sweden. I feel odd and out of tune when I share with her how sunny the day is as it plummets rain there and so often. Yet, this drought is costing the world with the farmer's plight. Sad really . . .
It really depends on what genre you're writing. I wrote an epic fantasy novel that took me 10 years to draft, edit, and publish. But, by contrast, I wrote a shorter science fiction novel in 30 days. So it comes down to what kind of story you're trying to tell (or non fiction point you're trying to make) and how much of a stickler you are for editing.
Take your time if this is your first. (It's the nearest I'd come to having a kid). I edited my first one three times and I was a couple of years before I brought it 'to bed'. The next three were about six months in writing, editing and publishing. This next one in my saga series will be a bit longer, about eight months from end to end.
If you haven't got somebody else on your back with a deadline, you call the shots.
OMG, it depends completely on you and I believe your level of cognitive associations in the genre. I am a "wee-bit" of a procrastinator although swirled into me is persona achievement. Thus, I can complete a nonfiction book quickly with significant scaffolding. That being, dead or death lines not drawn in the sand but etched in my persona. The death lines can be demanding in terms of time-period; no matter because of my "achiever mentality. Always keep in mind this is significantly dependent on the genre you are writing. If it is a genre I have little cognitive associations/"experience" in then all bets are off. Although I have published 2 nonfiction academic oriented books I am still struggling after in excess of 5 years for another book I am currently formulating that is non-academic...
From start to finish, I've written books in several months - while working a full time job. However, I had the ideas bouncing around in my head for months before that and scenes played out in my mind. The time then was simply typing up what I already had in mind.
If I had to come up with a story per a set of parameters set by a publisher and make it interesting and good, not what I wanted to write, that would take much longer.
Some people are idea generators and can do anything in short order.
Issac Asimov was famous for putting out a book every month or two plus articles and stories. He joked that he once had writer's block - and it was the worst five minutes of his life. When asked what he'd do if he'd die in a few months, his reply was "type faster". He actually wrote 200 page books in a month on everything from science fiction to astronomy to orbital mechanics.
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