Why write a novel?

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It might take you a week to write a poem or a song. But three years? Five? Eight? That’s the kind of time it takes to write a novel.

It might take you a week to write a poem or a song. You’ll no doubt have to spend time polishing it, but the undressed flesh is quick to construct. Likewise –with notable exceptions– a painting might take a day or a month and a sculpture or short story may be six months or more in the making. But three years? Five? Eight? That’s the kind of time it takes to write a novel. Unlike those other artforms, when writing a novel there’s no proof of your practice, no exhibitions, no gigs, and possibly no publication. It may never even exist to anyone but you.

Matt Millikan

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