A while back, after I had just finished my first draft of Hatshepsut, a friend asked how long it took to get the whole thing on paper.
My answer? Roughly nine months of concerted writing. (The first year I only managed 100 pages and half of that was cut.)
Her response? “Wow. So writing a book is like having a baby.”
Yes. In more ways than one.
Here are some mammal gestation periods with my written “baby” equivalents.
Opossum: 12 days (Creation of first draft of first chapter, most of which will inevitably be chopped.)
Cat: 63 days (Length of time it takes me to run out of my initial inspiration when starting a new book.)
Cow: 284 days (Roughly the amount of time for human gestation, approximate time necessary to finish the first draft.)
Whale: 360 days (Time required to complete enough edits to get a WIP ready for beta readers.)
Indian Elephant: 624 days (A smidge less than the time from writing the first word of the first draft to having Hatshepsut query-able.)
Now the next time someone asks why your book isn’t on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, you can tell them the process of writing a book is like having a baby. An elephant baby.
(On a side note, I’m glad I’m not an elephant! Nine months of being pregnant just once was more than enough for me!)
So, what stage is your book at?