I have become much better when I meet someone new at acknowledging that I am a writer and have published a book. After I give them the elevator speech describing the book, they usually ask, “How long did it take you to write?”
I have spent more time answering this question than telling them what the book is about. I feel the need to justify why it took seven years to finish.
A new acquaintance asked just yesterday, “So, how long did it take for you to write the book?” As usual, I spent many minutes with my in-depth explanation. I droned on as if giving a lecture that I had given many times before and had to reluctantly deliver it again. Why?
Then that afternoon, after I read Marlene Adelstein, The Dreaded Question, I knew why. My book writing journey doesn’t follow Marlene’s exactly but her story does help to clarify that my first book, Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic, has been growing inside of me for years. Years! My previous writing was mostly in preparation for this book. Like Marlene, I recognize that I have had subconscious motivations for finishing this book all along. I am still processing the reasons, which I will share in another post.
I hope you enjoy Marlene’s fine story and her lovely writing as much as I did.
by Marlene Adelstein
Now that my debut novel, Sophie Last Seen, has just been published and I’ve started doing readings and interviews to promote it, I’m hoping my least favorite question won’t pop up. But inevitably, it does. How long did it take you to write? It’s often the first question out of people’s mouths. Why the length of time it takes to complete a book is of such interest, I’m not sure. Maybe people secretly want to hear it took a long time so they can feel better about their own slow writing. Or perhaps they want to hear it didn’t take very long at all, and they’ll think, That sounds easy, I can do that!
The fact is, when I started writing this book the World Trade Center had just toppled. And it was only a little more than a year ago that I got a…
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I read that too. And thought of you! The important thing is that the book eventually gets finished.
I could have written that essay but not as well.
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