As more family and friends and old acquaintances become aware of my children’s writing pursuits and books under contract, I’m getting more questions about how the whole process works, and how long it takes.

“Wow, it takes that long?” is a common response.

This weekend, a family friend and fellow homeschooling parent asked if I’d be willing to discuss the process with her daughter and a friend, aspiring writers who are 10 and 9 years old. Sure thing, I replied, but I just realized something.

At their age, when they hear how long I’ve been at this — 7-plus years of writing, 3 1/2 years since receiving my first contract — with no books on the shelf, how is that going to sound?

Would that be like telling a 36-year-old such as myself, “Well, I’ve been at this for 30 years, and I got my contract 15 years ago, so, you know — my books will be out any year now”?