I started composing about 3 years ago using finale notepad. Loved the price.
I could compose a piece for full orchestra at the rate of about a minute of music per hour of work.
Now, way too much money later, it takes me an hour just to get everything set up.
I still put most of the notes down at the same rate of about a minutes worth of music per hour of work, but thanks to Randy and David (etlux), I now work around 6-10 hours per minute of music getting everything right. Or as David used to tell me and Randy showed me how to do, I conduct my music and try to present it in as much a realistic fashion as is possible by my limited skills.
So my question is...
How long does it take you to get your musical ideas ready for presentation?
Edit: From reading some of the replies, I would also like to know how long you take in the mixing end of a piece.
That is where I seem to spend most of my time now. So that is where most of the 6-10 hours per minute comes from.
One of the reasons I ask this has to do with commercial applications. I wonder how long it takes the guys that compose for TV to master their works. In a 22 minute TV show say with 7-10 minutes of music, how long do you think they spend getting it ready?