Ten years (and a day).
On October 4th, 1999, I finished my first novel.
(And I would have posted about it yesterday, but the wedding weekend left me way too zombified for anything of the sort.)
It wasn’t the first one I started — for a long time the only thing I wrote was “unfinished novels” — but it was the first one where I managed to connect my random scenes into something like a narrative thread, and then put a beginning on that thread, and then carry it through to the end. 117K or so in its stocking feet, and very nearly the first story of any kind I’d ever completed; certainly it was the longest by an order of magnitude.
In the ten years since then, I’ve written ten more novels and sold six. I’ve also gotten the knack of short stories, for a total of fifty-two written and twenty-six sold; flash, nineteen written and seventeen sold; even two novellas and one novelette. My first two novels are published in Germany, and will be published in France, and I’ve won a couple of contest awards and honorable mentions in year’s best anthologies.
Not bad for ten years. I’ll do my best to top it in the next ten. 🙂