Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Time to Publication

John Scalzi is talking about why debut novelists are so often so much older than debut musicians or actors. I commented over there with my own timeline and it seemed worth noting it here too. Please feel free to post your own both here and there.

My novel publishing timeline:

1967 – 1991: Time spent learning to write well enough to write a novel (26).

1991: Wrote first complete novel (26)

1992–1993: Wrote two more novels, one of which is possibly publishable with rewrite (28)

1993-1998: Wrote a bunch of short stories while trying to sell all three initial novels (31)

1999: Started selling shorts and returned to novels, writing the book that would ultimately sell first (32)

2000: Got agent who started marketing novel (33)

2000-2005: Wrote three more novels, all still looking for publishers (38)

2005: Contract signed for that debut novel (38)

2006: Debut novel published (39)


Bill Henry said...

Case in point:

1984–1992: musician (18–27)

1992–present: writer

Anonymous said...

Hey- thanks for pointing this out, and your timeline. Needed...

I agreed to do the Clarion West write-a-thon this summer before realizing that asking family and friends for pledges would mean having to explain again to all these non-writers why after all those years of wasting all that ink and paper, and about to turn 40, I was still just working on that (latest) "first real novel."

Having to do all that explaining has actually been a better motivator to git'r'done and get it right this time, by golly, than the pledges... whatever works.