Published on June 8th, 2017 | by Brett Harris

4.5 Years To Get Published (Survey of 20 Young Authors)

I just finished updating one of our most popular writing resources.

It’s called The Young Writers Guidebook.

It’s a collection of advice from young published authors.

Last time we had seven authors participate.

This time we have twenty.

And when I contacted each of them I asked these two questions:

– How old were you when you first started taking writing seriously?

– How old were you when you published your first book?

And on average, it took 4.5 years of writing seriously to get published.

Of course, that number is the average. The range spanned between 1-10 years.


But here’s the point I want to make…

Whatever you’re passionate about — whether writing or anything else — success doesn’t happen overnight.

It takes work.

It takes time.

But it’s not impossible. Especially if you start young.

Unfortunately, many young people give up too soon, after only a few years.

(Or maybe after only a few tries…)

What would happen if more young people kept going?

I think we’d have more young authors.

More young programmers.

More young entrepreneurs.

More young __________ (fill-in-the-blank).


Now, I don’t know exactly what you’re passionate about. But if it’s writing, here’s what I recommend:

Download the Young Writers Guidebook and study it.

Learn from the people who have already succeeded at what you want to do. And then start seriously investing in your writing… today.

Who knows where you might be in 4.5 years?

You can grab a free copy of the guidebook by subscribing to our young writer email list. We’ll send you more practical and inspiring resources. And you can unsubscribe at any time.

Get The Guidebook


About the Author

is co-founder of and co-author of Do Hard Things, along with his twin brother, Alex. He is married to his best friend, Ana, who blogs at He is the founder of the Young Writers Workshop — an ongoing coaching program for serious writers.

  • Michael

    Oh yeah! Can’t wait to put my eyes in that workbook again.

  • Yay! I can’t wait to (devour) that book again, thank you! 😄

    • There’s a LOT more to devour this time too!

  • Samuel

    Thanks Brett! As a 15-year-old who’s been an aspiring writer since he was 8, this was really encouraging. As long as the Truth gets out somehow, it doesn’t matter when I get published. :)

    • I’m so glad it encouraged you, Samuel! And stay tuned because we have a lot more writing resources coming out this month. =)

      • Samuel

        Looking forward to it!

  • Bethany Rose (TeenForager)

    Oh, I almost passed over this article because I thought it was the same guidebook. I’m glad I took a second look!

  • This guidebook is so invaluable & encouraging!! Thankful for it. 😀

  • Amanda Rose

    Thank you for sharing, Brett! Honestly it took me a few days to actually click on this article because 4.5 years sounds like so much longer than I want to take to get published. But I know it’s just an average, and I have to be patient and keep writing. :) It’ll happen someday! Can’t wait to see what’s in this new version of the Guidebook.

  • All Is On Grace

    I read the guidebook. It was inspiring to me as a young writer! Thank you for putting it together!

  • Alex Dyer

    Hi, Mr. Harris, I have just started reading your blog and I have been writing for around a year now, but when I read the guidebook I noticed all the authors suggested what to do for books that were more christian/non-fiction based than for fantasy, do you have any suggestions?

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