The Questions

Not Enough Time to Write a Book

How long does it normally take to write a book?

The question of how much time to write a book haunts many would be writers. In fact, it is such an open question that most people have no answer for you that will directly correspond to your book writing situation or the amount of time it will take you.

Let me show you with my own experience the amount of time it took me to write a book first draft only.

  • Fist – four months – 76000 words
  • Second – five months – 68000 words
  • Third – two months – 72000 words
  • Forth – 28 days – 74000 words
  • Fifth – two years – 60000 words
  • Sixth – 27 days – 68000 words
  • Seventh – 28 days – 72000 words
  • Eighth – 30 days – 62000 words
  • Ninth – 10 days – 64000 words

This is all over the map. Your question could be why did it take so long to write some, and so short for others? The answer is prep time and what I was doing while writing.

My early books came out while still fully employed and working 47 hour weeks. Early in a writer’s career, they usually take a while to write their books. It is because they don’t have a good cadence. The ability to write quickly comes with practice. Even these questions become easier to answer the more your do.

The times were my time to write a book is low are also during the NaNoWriMo challenge. The last one I concentrated only on writing for ten days. Each day I would get up, make breakfast, check my email, then put everything else aside and take the rest of my time to write a book. It allowed for 3-12000 words to be put into the book every day.

I will caution you, that the time to write a book listed above is for the first draft only. There are multiple steps to complete when writing your book. We are not talking about outlining, planning, re-writing, critiquing, and editing, but just the first draft.

How much time does it usually take to write a book? How fast can you type? How much imagination do you have? Do you have an outline? Are you just making it up as you go? These questions will impact the question of how long does it normally take to write a book.

As a side, I know a number of writers who are still working on their first novel after years of writing, so the following answer is valid – it takes as long as it takes.

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