Amateurs may think that inspiration drives artistic production, but professionals know the muses are rarely to blame for creative clogging. This infographic by Printerinks charts how long it took to pen some popular novels and literary masterpieces.

It’s not an exhaustive list, but hopefully it will motivate those of you who refuse to believe you can forgo that weeklong vacation to write your novel — Robert Louis Stevenson appears to have had no trouble, and he probably even rested on the seventh day.


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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

2 replies on “How Long Did It Take to Write Some of the World’s Most Popular Books?”

  1. They didn’t say anything about the Bible. God took his sweet time with the first book, not to mention that he took the longest hiatus before deciding to make the sequel. Also, the editors had a very hard time deciding what to leave in and what to take out – the Almighty was all over the place, never really knew how to bring it all home.

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