You Took HOW Long?

Typically speaking, I am of the “real books” camp. If I am going to read, I don’t want to read from some impersonal tablet. I want a book with a spine and pages. I want to feel the paper as I turn the pages, feather through them, smell the pulpy scent and know there’s real ink reflecting the story to me. I see the point of tablets, but I can’t bring myself to appreciate them in the same manner I appreciate a “real” book.

On the other hand, however, I am a huge proponent of audio books. With the lack of time life oh so often affords me, finding opportunity to read “real” books become rare gems indeed. But some of the pressures of life, including driving, housework, mowing and working out can be made much more enjoyable thanks to the brilliance of whoever developed the idea of audiobooks. I always have a book on CD going in my car, and generally cases of several others waiting in line. Likewise, I have parts of one to two audiobooks downloaded on my iPod at any given time.

This only becomes a problem when I am in a public place. I have a tendency to talk to my books, and it doesn’t matter where I am. I have learned to ignore the occasional odd looks I get when I laugh out loud or mutter something to the characters or author. As was the case the other day at the gym.

I had just finished listening to the book Pathfinder, the first in a series by Orson Scott Card. He came on with a note after the novel, describing his experience in writing the book. He talked about how grateful he was to have people who would read the book and check for consistency in the flow because it had taken him a long time to complete the manuscript. He said normally he moves along pretty quickly, but this book had taken him a long time: six months. I am pretty sure I laughed loudly enough to warrant a few looks, although I ignored them. Six months was a long time to complete a manuscript? Long enough to make him concerned about continuity and to earn a comment on the length of time?

My shortest time to complete a book was five months, and I was amazed at that. The only reason I completed it that quickly was because I wrote over half of it during NaNoWriMo. The longest one: well, hard to say. From the first word typed on the screen to the 2 a.m. proclamation of “I’m done!” and subsequent donut party at work the next day was right about five years. However, I have spent over a year now doing a massive revision which is not complete and have a whole section in which I plan to add new material.

I get it, I do. I’m not a full-time writer and probably never will be. There’s no conceivable way at this point in my life to complete a manuscript in less than six months. It was a gentle reminder, though, that I probably can be doing more, working harder. I can’t write full-time, but I can write more than I do, avoid procrastination more (what do you call someone who procrastinates at procrastinating 😛 ). I can’t do six months, but there’s no reason it should take six years, either. There’s a lot of time in between those two frames for wiggle room.


~ S.D. Bullard


~ by sdbullard on July 15, 2014.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: