the long view from Annie Dillard
"It takes years to write a book--between two and ten years...Out of a human population on earth of four and a half billion, perhaps twenty people can write a book in a year. Some people lift cars, too. Some people enter week-long sled-dog races, go over Niagara Falls in barrels, fly planes through the Arc de Triomphe. Some people feel no pain at childbirth. Some people eat cars. There is no call to take human extremes as norms."
-Annie Dillard, The Writing Life (1989)