The clocks go back this month. And tonight my taxi driver commented that the nights are drawing in. Indeed on a recent post on this blog, Pete mentioned that the sun is setting around 2 minutes earlier every single day. And as we lose daylight we say the days are shorter. As though having less sunlight means we have less time somehow. Maybe it’s to do with having less motivation? After all our bodies think this is true: when it’s dark they want to sleep, right?
Meanwhile, my absolute most popular search term leading to this blog is…
“How long until a literary agent responds?”
Which is closely followed by:
“How long after submission until I hear from publisher?
“How long after agent to get book deal?”
“How long to publication?”
Funnily enough, not one person has ever arrived here by searching “How long will it take me to write my book?”… (although The Guardian now has one answer to that question)…or “How long will it take me to become a good writer?”
If you want to see my post on how long the agent thing took, you can click the link. And yes, it took over two years from signing my contract to my book launch, which is still 4 months off. And do you know what? 21 months ago, my launch date seemed like an eternity away. Now it’s four months off and looking back on those 21 months – during which time I have been writing book two – I wonder why I still haven’t finished my new novel and packed it off to my agent. Why? Because from a writing perspective time has flown.
So what I want to say is this. The answer to all of those questions above is out of your control. Don’t let yourself get into ‘The Waiting Place’ as Dr Seuss called it. Because what you can control is the time you spend on writing (or whatever else it is you want to achieve).
How much time? Can you manage an hour a day? You’d be amazed how much progress you will make if you can. If not, what about half an hour? If not then why on earth are you here spending time reading my blog?
In conclusion, I thought I would share with you something that I first read almost 20 years ago, when I was younger and thought I had all the time in the world. I don’t know who to attribute it to, but I like it. Hope you do too.
The Value of Time.
If you want to know the value of one year, ask a student who failed a course.
If you want to know the value of one month, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
If you want to know the value of one day, ask the editor of a newspaper.
If you want to know the value of one hour, ask the lovers waiting to meet.
If you want to know the value of one minute, ask the person who just missed the train.
If you want to know the value of one second, ask the person who just avoided a serious car accident.
And if you want to know the value of one hundredth of a second, ask the athlete who won a silver medal in the Olympics
The gorgeous photo above is by Neal Fowler, via Flickr Creative Commons