One of the things I miss about being a daily newspaper reporter is knowing within about 12 hours whether I'd failed or succeeded. By failure or success I mean whether I'd beaten the opposition or whether they had beaten me. After I left daily newspapers it could take months to gauge the success or failure of my efforts. Often, there was no clear cut indication at all. And responsibility for that success or failure was also a fuzzier matter. Writing books is even worse in many ways. It can take more than a year from submitting a text to the book going on the shelves. And a lot of people, an awful lot of people, are involved in how well a book does. Yes, I miss the clear cut and almost instant validation, or otherwise, of my efforts.