Readers' Favorite

Featured Post

Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

November 2, 2018

Time, Take Two by @CMNorthauthor

In a stab at shameless self-promotion, I’m going to announce here that I have a new book released this week: written under my pen name, Satis, The Redemption of Erâth: Ancients & Death hits digital shelves on Sunday, and marks the third installment in the ongoing Redemption of Erâth series. It’s a beast, at nearly 600 pages (that’s after a near 25% cut), but I hope that it doesn’t outstay its welcome: a lot happens.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site.

The Redemption of Erath Ancients and Death
It only took three years.

I actually started writing the Redemption of Erâth series all the way back in late 2011 as part of NaNoWriMo, and it was three further years before the first book was published. In fact, the second book in the set, Exile, was written and released the fastest out of all of them, and even that took two years.

Granted, I wrote a separate Young Adult book, 22 Scars, in the meantime, but still. I am not the fastest writer.

I stand in a kind of unfathomable awe of writers who can churn out two to three books a year. I just don’t get it. Even if writing were my full-time gig, I still don’t think I could manage something like that. For me, writing takes time, deliberation and careful thought about each word following the next, endless deletions and revisions, and months of stubborn abstinence where I don’t even think about the work, never mind actually write anything.

All writing takes time, and - arguably - good writing takes a good amount of it. There are, of course, anomalies; Stephen King and Charles Dickens were both exceptionally prolific in their lifetimes, churning out reams of - again, arguably - great content for the masses to devour. But for the most part, writing that is typically considered to be a cut above the rest takes a while to create.

Or does it?

Of all the books I’ve written, 22 Scars is the one I’m most proud of, both from a stylistic and thematic point of view. And whilst it took nearly twelve years to finally come to fruition, the actual writing - the part where I sat down and typed out word after word after word - took maybe two months. And of that, I maybe wrote for about an hour a day.

In other words, in slightly over a full-time work week, I wrote a novel.

It might not have been a great novel - not at first - but it was done. Had I had the time - the time, the inclination and the motivation - I could have written the entire thing in two weeks. I could have then left it for a month, or more, before returning to edit it, and still have had it out faster than anything I’ve ever created before.

So what’s the deal? What is the thing that actually takes the time? Granted, I can only type so many words per minute, but if I typed at even a moderate pace, I could have dozens of books out by now.
Some of the time, of course, is spent staring at the screen. Actually, a lot of it is. You start, naturally, trying to construct a coherent sentence that says what you have in your head, follows on from the previous one, and gives way to the subsequent one. But somewhere in there, you start thinking about the next sentence, and the following paragraph. Then you start to wonder if this whole scene even fits with the story you’re telling. Then you begin to daydream about how the story could be different, could be tighter, could be better … and before you know it, an hour’s passed and you haven’t written a word.

Indeed, that’s where a lot of the time goes.

A lot more of the time goes to the day-to-day that has absolutely nothing to do with writing. I still have to brush my teeth, go to work, pay the bills, eat dinner … all that annoying jazz. I’m sometimes lucky if I even get an hour a day to write. And if fifty minutes of that hour are spent staring blankly into space, then I guess it starts to become clear why it takes two to three years for me to write a book.

It takes more than time to write a book. It takes focus, drive, determination, an unwillingness to give up, and an acceptance that even the worst writing is better than no writing. It takes putting one word after the other, regardless of if they flow or sound good, simply to get to the end. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon.

It’s not a marathon; it’s a frigging two-month mountaineering trek into the wild Himalayas, with no guide and no pack, and only the valley grasses to sustain you.

It’s hell.

And yet, it’s worth it, because regardless of how long it takes, at the end of it all you can say you did it: you wrote a damn book. Maybe no one will read it. Maybe it’ll fall into the annals of so many other self-published indie authors that no one’s ever heard of, and fade to dust with the passing of decades.
But at least it exists. And it’s something that didn’t before.

That’s probably why I keep at it; why Stephen King keeps at it, and why George R.R. Martin keeps at it. Because when you’re done, you know you can do it again.

Take two.

C.M. North is a trained musician, coffee addict and author of 22 Scars, a young adult novel about teenage depression and growing up with tragedy and trauma. He lives in northern New Jersey with his wife, son and cat Pia, who insists she take precedence over writing. You can find him at

Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.


Post a Comment