How Long Does It Take?

Many, many decades – The esteemed Elizabeth Bishop, on one line of poetry, the comma moved back and forth.

25 years – Steven Spielberg, on his latest film “Red Tails.”

30 years – Frank McCourt on Angela’s Ashes.

2 months – Richard Paul Evans, author of eleven New York Times best-sellers, including Finding Noel and The Christmas Box.  Average number of revisions once the first draft was done: 800 per book.

6 weeks, or 4 years, depending upon the source – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

10 days – George Simenon, lunch delivered on a tray to his closed office door, no interruptions tolerated. Creator of Inspector Maigret. Author of 200 novels, 210 novellas, several autobiographical works, dozens of articles, and scores of pulp fiction written under twelve pseudonyms.

5 days – Dame Barbara Cartland, resulting in some 623 best-sellers in her lifetime.

4 days – Samuel Johnson, Rasselas: Prince of Abyssinia

A single 12-hour transatlantic flight – Dr. Richard Carlson’s wildly popular Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

Are you glacial? Or do you like your latté hot, so make it quick!

Make peace with yourself. That’s how the best work happens.

Comments welcome and edited to include first names only, and website, if provided; never your email. Photo by K’vitsh.