How Long Would It Take A Fly to Travel Around the World?

Writing is hard.

You sit at your computer (or maybe you do it the old fashioned way and use a pen) and, after staring at the screen for a good hour or two, type some characters onto the page. What you’ve written is bad, and you know it, so you start again. Eventually, you have a chapter. If you’re a workhorse, maybe you have two or three.

Then you do it again the next day. And the next. And the next… until you have some sort of manuscript of arguable quality.

This is why writing is hard. You need commitment. You have to get up in the morning and think, “Another day of writing, yes!” along with some self-encouragement to cloud the fact that you’ll never be as good as Tolkien. Now, I have commitment. I want to write a story that will reach out to others (what I don’t have is a post for another day). But what you also need is understanding.

An understanding that to write, you need days, months, maybe even years. If you want that internationally acclaimed magnum opus, you have to work and wait. When I wrote Prison of the Fragile, that generic horrid début that you hate just a little more than you love, it probably took me about 3 months of hard-work, solid grinding, and the shadow of a social life. That’s about a quarter of the time it would take any normal writer to spurn out a story. As you can imagine, it wasn’t very good!

This is a message to myself more than anything, an organisation of thoughts. I mean, I don’t even want to know how long it took Tolkien to write the Lord of the Rings. But you can be sure that he put time into it. And commitment. And more than anything, work. Nobody can write a story without these things. America wasn’t the first nation to land on the moon after just a night of planning. It took years. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you want to write a story, you need to understand that there’s no cheat code that allows your brain to work faster. There aren’t any Limitless-style pills in this world. It’s all work, work, work. And a lot of time.

But if you enjoy writing (and if you don’t – why are you writing at all?) then that shouldn’t be a problem. 🙂


This is exactly what I’m talking about. Please note this is not a real Work In Progress of mine.


2 thoughts on “How Long Would It Take A Fly to Travel Around the World?

  1. Exactly – so many people don’t understand that writing is actually work – yes, it’s fun, but in order to have success, you really must put in the effort and the hours and the WORK!

  2. Being closely involved in the days of PotF, I know that it is indeed work. As the outsider, I did think it was a good story, especially considered it was a first. I also think that the understanding of all this, what you wrote in this post, is an important part of succeeding as a writer too. Good post!

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