Hey everyone, I've started writing a novel around a year ago and yet I haven't written even one chapter. I have around 18,000 words in total, but they form mostly detached scenes that I hope to place somewhere in the finished novel, but nothing fluent and coherent has been formed yet. Stephanie Meyer managed to pen down the entire Twilight book in about three months, I've heard, and apparently, most authors need around the same time span to have at least written a first rough draft. Besides, we all know the stereotype of the possessed artist who absolutely needs to write all the time for the sake of his sanity. The guy who makes words gush out of his pen like it's second nature. So it's a little demotivating for me, given how slow I am in comparison. The thing is that coming up with a good story looks like it's mostly an innate talent than skills you can work on. Inspiration just comes when it wants to come. It's not something that can be controlled to me, but some people seem to be more inspired than others people (like me, who can't manage to come up with a good idea more than once every century). I'm currently studying a heavy subject that needs a lot of time dedicated to it in order to not fail the year and yet I'm freeing some time in my schedule just to write, hoping I'll reap the fruits of my efforts in the form of a published novel one day. But the more time goes by, the more this seems like some crazy wild dream I should have abandoned when I outgrew my childhood naivete (along with becoming a princess, you know?). I find myself staring at a blank page. And doing just that. So, is writing interesting novels a talent that one just has or hasn't or rather a skill that is developed through hard work? Do you think someone that uninspired just doesn't have The Talent and should rather not bet on writing too much? Or have you endured endless trudges through that despairing place inspiration is unknown to and yet still managed to finish a novel of publishable quality in the end? How long does it take for you to finish writing a book, from the moment you come up with a concept to the final draft? Thanks for reading!