I have been writing more consistently and anticipate the rough draft of the first book of my trilogy will be completed sometime this summer.  When will I publish?  Based on the 1950 game show, this is: “The $64,000 Question”.

When I began this journey, the road to publication stretched out toward the horizon in a straight line.  Then around the first curve the road began to climb steeply with numerous hairpin turns.  As the challenge grew, I had moments of complete exhilaration, but also despair. Looking back, I have enjoyed the process immensely.

Since I retired, I have been forthcoming about my desire (or perhaps dream) to write a novel.  I could have remained secretive, but decided to put it out there.  What possessed me?  By announcing to the world, I knew the main question people would ask: When will your novel be published?  This simple question would be my motivator.

Full of optimism, I began to put keystrokes to electronic paper in August of 2012. At the end of this month I will have been writing for two years and eight months.  So how long does it take?

Checking on several websites, the answer varied.  On Goodreads numerous writers stated it took them 3 to 5 years to complete their first book.  At the Huffington Post website, author and columnist, Holly Robinson stated it took her 25 years! When she attended the April 2014 Newburyport Literary Conference, a panel of best selling authors told her it can take from 4 to 10 years.  Finally, my favorite statement occurred on the Novel Writing Help website. Writing a novel “…takes as long as it takes. No more and no less.”

I started out as a complete novice, but have learned it definitely takes a village.  I discovered creative writing involves more than simply sitting down and putting words to paper.  A writer needs the help of a variety of people who give their encouragement, reassurance, expertise, knowledge, or assistance.  So with the support of “my village”, I plan to publish somewhere within the 4 to 10 year time frame, but hopefully closer to the lower end of this range.


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4 responses to “IT TAKES A VILLAGE

  1. Hi, Mark, So cool that you’re so realistic about this timeline thing. After the time you’ve put in so far, you full well know the twists (some hairpin!) and turns of the road, the thrill of the fast descents and the drudgery of the long climbs. Hang in there and that day will surely come!

    Bill Percy



    Hope to spend some time together this
    summer. Hope all is well.

    Tom Stillman
    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Your audience remains patient! Enjoy!


  4. liz rose

    Good for you Mark. It’s a journey.


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