My first novel took almost 15 years:
- 6 months to write the first draft
- 10 days at a writer's conference with a famous author (the excellent Bruce Coville) only to learn that I didn't know the first thing about writing a novel, and was arrogant to not read all the other books in my intended genre
- 1 year to break draft 1 into 4 books
- 4 years to have a baby and get a new job or three, edit the darn thing, and attend lots of other writer's conferences, only to learn that writing is not that easy, and requires persistance.
- 6 months to send manuscript to many editors and agents, only to find that I still didn't know how to write well enough
- 6 weeks in 1999 writing 6 short stories at a prestigious writer's workshop (Clarion West) and also with my favorite author, Ursula K. LeGuin, only to learn that "writing is hard."
- 10 YEARS of not writing and then writing 6 MORE DRAFTS, in between renovating an old farm and raising kids and working full-time, there is a book. Self-published for now (long story), but an actual, physical book.
The moral of this tale: if you are crazy enough to stick with something, it actually gets easier.