How long?

by Suw on September 15, 2005

… does it take to write a book?
How long is a piece of string?
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
How many dustbunnies can live underneath a sofa?
How many words can I write a day? Except, I won't write 1000 words a day, or even 500 words a day. Some days I'll write none, and other days I'll go berserk and write 3000 or more. How many screenshots can I use? Can I just write 'the' 125,000 times?
Am I nuts for taking this on, at this time, when I already have ORG happening, which seems to expand to fill my brain and all available time as soon as I wake in the morning, not to mention a Clients Who Pay Real Money? But then, if my aim is to become a real proper author I'm going to have to, y'know, actually write a book at some point. Otherwise I'm just someone with auctorial aspirations.
I think I need to consult with the angels and the dustbunnies. Maybe they have a better idea, because I'm not sure that 'Dear publisher, I think it's going to take me $random_guess months to write this book' is going to work so well.

Anonymous September 15, 2005 at 9:35 am

My first book took approximately twice as long as I thought it would. I'd say that's a pretty good rule of thumb. You should also expect that your book will make a net loss financially (i.e. at the end of the first year of sales, taking advances, royalties and the cost of living into account, you will have lost money). So make sure you stay on friendly terms with those Clients Who Pay Real Money. Good luck.

Anonymous September 15, 2005 at 9:39 am

I'm not expecting this book to make any money at all. I am expecting it to teach me a lot about myself and whether or not I really am cut out to be an author, which is, ultimately, more useful and valuable than boring old money.
*smiles winningly at Clients Who Pay Real Money*
Not sure that the publishers would be too keen on me doubling the length of time I'm estimating for this though. That might put me into the 'Er, thanks, but no' category.

Anonymous September 15, 2005 at 12:06 pm

A piece of string is the same length as two pieces of string.
Seraphifty-one angels can dance on the head of a pin.
Dustbunnies are your childhood monsters-under-the-bed, geriatric and enfeebled. Without your naive fears to feed on they are wasted to dust and nothing, but they slip inside your boxes when you move and live with you forever.
There's one under the sofa for every nightmare you had as a child.

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