I'm never quite sure how to answer when I'm asked how long it's taken me to write a book. Does that mean the actual sitting down, up-close-and-personal time with my keyboard? Because here's a newsflash for you... stories start way before that.
I'm "starting" a new book, as in preparing to write the very first sentence some time this week. But I've been thinking about it off and on for about 3 years now. Had I written it back when the idea began, the story wouldn't have as many layers or just the right characters. And that's not just rhetoric.
'Thinking' time is writing time. Months, even years (as in my case) are not wasted just because you haven't put a word down on blank paper. Great stories begin in the mind and heart of a writer, not by the act of typing out chapter one.
So if you're a dreamer, a ruminator, a dilly-dally wonder-if sort of person, here's a high-five for you.