Lesson learned: Writing or Publishing – which takes longer?

I’ve been asked which one takes longer, writing or publishing a book.

My first response is to say publishing. The learning curve is huge when you do it yourself. Yes, you can have your fiction or nonfiction work uploaded within a few hours. Just follow the instructions that each distributor provides. But what if you want to be professional, polished, and serious about the success of your work? A few hours won’t do it and not the route I chose to take.

First, I wanted to make sure that ePublishing was the direction I wanted to go. I researched. I went back and forth on traditional versus independent. I continued to research, and I listed the pros and cons to each option. I attended conference sessions to hear others and collect information from their experiences.

Once I decided to be independent (self-publish), I chose to have an editor content and copy edit my story. I had to find an editor and then work within their time constraints. I had to create a book cover, format the document, create the Table of Contents, and add the copyright information and author bio. I had to learn about ISBNs, Sigil, and Calibre. Not to mention, my novel isn’t published yet…but I’m still looking at this month for the launch date.

And then I listened to the analyst in me and wondered if I should have said writing took longer. I’ve been writing for decades with the wish to publish, but I never hardcore pursued the dream. I’ve written four other stories, with only one making it to a first manuscript draft.

The first three didn’t count. Let’s just say Starsky and Hutch, the Monkees, and Elton John were main characters, and the stories should have stayed in my head. The fourth, the manuscript draft, I’m going to revisit. Next, I wrote my current story Gitana. The first rough draft took 30 days to write. The next 11 months were used to edit and polish the story (with two rewrites and family health issues to contend with). When I thought I was done, I did another edit before sending off to the editor. So if you add up the years that I’ve been writing and editing, you could say the writing takes longer.

So now which one do I believe takes longer? What comes first, the chicken or the egg?


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