So! We’ve written most of our magnum opus and edited it until we are certain we can do no better. How long might it be before we can see some return on our investment of time, energy and resources? How long before we can nod our heads and say, ‘Yes, now I am a writer!’ The first time I heard the dreaded words, ‘ten years’ my mind refused to take them in, but that, indeed, is the timescale I am now looking at. I’m so glad to be nearing the end of one of the busiest and most rewarding decades of my life.

If when I first sat down to write, with only a grin and enthusiasm for company, someone had suggested that I would spend the best part of ten years coming to grips with the course I so blithely set, I would have run screaming in the opposite direction. Actually, I would probably have laughed incredulously and carried on. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Realistically, from firing up our determination to forge a writing career and putting your ideas down on paper, to being published, we can be looking at anything from four to ten years. Yes, it does take years to find our voice, refine our writing and our style and get round to sending out submissions; and it can take more years to secure a publishing deal. On the plus side, this means we have plenty of time to perfect our work, and we can probably have several projects on the go at once, which helps to keep our interest fresh.


The down side, apart from the potential for becoming discouraged, is that having too many projects underway can dilute our determination. I prefer to work with no more than two projects at any one time, particularly when we are new to writing; perhaps that might be our strongest piece that we are currently writing, editing and refining, plus another project that we periodically reflect on, revise and add to as the mood takes us, and which we turn to for a change of scene.

My next few blog posts will be focussing on submissions. Thanks for reading!

Please share: