Friday, September 19, 2008

years and years

"Have you ever noticed that when an author becomes really popular, readers act like the author's success appeared out of nowhere? - In reality, a big success takes anywhere from 2 to 10 years."

those lines, they come from the blog that i regularly read: Pub Rants, by Agent Kristin, who gives peeks into the life of a literary agent. her statement on overnight success is one to ponder on. even more so as magazines and tv stations are so eager to present shooting stars. while the reality behind the headlines works different.
(direct link to the post: Overnight Success Takes 2 to 10 years)

another writing timeline i came across: Laurel Snyder, author of "Up and Down the Scratchy Mountain", does a blog tour these days, and talks about her writing experience.

"The process was painfully slow. It took almost a year to write 70 pages, head down, working a few hours every few days. And then it took another 2 years to revise that draft. And then it took six years of edits and drafts and disappointing mailboxes to get to this point. But I should say that when I began I knew NOTHING about writing long prose. Nothing! So this book functioned, in a lot of ways, as an exercise for me– it taught me POV and arc and all that silly stuff poets don’t need to know."
(interview link: Books, Chocolate, Sundries - Laurel Snyder)

and then there is Tolkien. last month, i read the first book of Lord of the Rings. which then made me pick up his biography in the library. turned out, it took Tolkien 16 years to write the trilogy. even after he finished, he kept rewriting scenes. and he kept working on another novel, one that is connected to the Rings, too: the Silmarillion a book that was finished by his son.

years and years.

but then, life isn't only about the finishing. it's also about the process. that's what an enlightening cartoon clip reminded me of this morning. here the link: Alan Watts - Life and Music.

here's to the music of life.

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