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the ten year theory

Cynsations has an excellent interview with Cecil Castellucci on her awesome Boy Proof:

I have a theory. The ten-year theory. I think it takes everyone, any artist in any discipline, about ten years to “make it”. (Whatever making it means to you.) But pretty much, it’s a ten-year waiting list. So you just have to stand in line and wait your turn. You just have to decide that you are in line. Oh sure, some people get cuts, or their line goes faster. I think the biggest challenge about waiting in line is just not giving up. I mean I had four novels, a picture book and an easy reader, all rejected. So, just getting it up to continue to write when it seemed pretty hopeless and as though I’d never get published, and perhaps was actually untalented, was a challenge. But I had my ten-year theory.

Just FYI, from the time I got serious about writing to the day Boy Proof came out in March, it had been 9 years. Theory proved.

See also: my thoughts on Boy Proof


  • At 7:14 PM , Blogger Janni said...

    When I started writing seriously, I gave myself 10 years before I was even allowed to address the whole question of whether to continue--I could tell I'd need at least that much time to have enough perspective to make any judgments at all.

    I don't think I understood then how muddled the definitions of making it as a writer really are. Still, 10 years was enough time to decide there was something to this writing thing, and to commit to continuing for another 10, at least. :-)

  • At 9:50 AM , Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

    Yikes! I have six years to go. On the upside, I'll still be in my 40s.

  • At 2:20 AM , Blogger Jenny D said...

    I completely agree, the ten-year thing seems extremely apropos. Ten years from when I first started researching a little-known eighteenth-century criminal to my novel about the same guy actually appearing in print. Ten years from my first year of grad school to my publishing my first academic book. Hmmm... Really, I'm not exaggerating, in the first case it was 1993 to 2003 and in the second case 1994 to 2005. Uncanny...

  • At 2:21 AM , Blogger Jenny D said...

    Oops, that last 2005 was meant to be 2004. Typo undermining sense of occult significance....


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