Ever since I sold THE WITCHES OF GEE'S BEND, people have been asking, "How long did it take to write?"
Well, I'll tell you. It only took about three months to write the first draft of that particular novel. But don't be too impressed, because I am still revising. And all of those months of revisions count, too.
And what about the four novels set in Gee's Bend I wrote in the four years prior to WITCHES? Surely they count. Because without them I would never have discovered the story I really wanted to tell.
So many words wind up in the trash can. But the beautiful thing is, that's what it takes. If you want to be a published writer, you need to write a whole bunch of words. Many of which will never be read by anyone but you. But every single one of them makes you a better writer.
"The Wastebasket is a writer's best friend."
- Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature