How long will it take to write my book?
“How long will it take to write my book?” My short answer is: “It takes as long as it takes based on how often you sit down to write and how long you spend writing when you do.” I know that is not the answer the person asking wants to hear as I say it. And honestly, after a while that answer frustrated me, too. I spent the past few days trying to figure out how to quantify a better answer to inspire and motivate writers instead of frustrate them. I think I finally did it!
Let’s think about the time frame for writing a 50,000-word book, which is about 200 pages long. Industry standard dictates that if the manuscript is double spaced using the Courier or Times New Roman font there will be about 250 words per page.
Here’s where the math comes in. Let’s assume the writer writes 1,500 words per day. Therefore, writing three days a week means it will take about 34 days or 11 weeks to finish writing the book. That’s about three months. The 34 days of writing is a constant if the goal is 1,500 words per week. It turns out the difference is just a matter of how many writing days per week the writer actually works. If writing 1,500 words a week during four days a week, the same 1,500-word count will take about 8.5 weeks to finish the book. Or write five days a week and that translates to finishing the book with about seven weeks of writing.
Let’s reduce the weekly word count to assume the writer writes 800 words per week. Therefore, if writing for three days a week that means it will take about 63 days or 21 weeks to finish the book. That’s a little bit more than five months’ worth of time invested in writing. The 63 days of writing is a constant for an 800-word weekly goal. Again, it turns out the difference is just a matter of how many writing days per week the writer sits down to write. If writing 800 words a week with a goal of four days a week, the same 800-word count will take about 16 weeks, or four months, to finish the book. Or write five days a week and that translates to finishing in about 12.5 weeks, or about three months, of writing.
The fact is that writing three days a week is better than not writing at all. If writing four or five days a week seems overwhelming then only write three days or two days a week. The key point is just write.
Some people prefer to focus on writing book content only once a week. And can clear the schedule to write 1,500 words or more in a few hours one day a week.
It’s important to develop a regular routine for writing
Create good writing habits. For instance, write during a time of day that you’re most creative. If you’re a morning person, it’s best to write in the morning and not at the end of the day. If you’re a night person you probably won’t get out of bed an hour early on a regular basis to write, and if you do try that, you wouldn’t enjoy the process very much. Write in a place that is comfortable, away from interruptions and distractions.
Whatever number of days a week is your determined time frame to write or number of words you decide to commit to writing each week, set yourself up for success. If something happens and you miss a day or two, don’t let that completely derail you because you fell behind your goal and feel like a failure. It’s better to be behind than it is to get frustrated and quit the entire writing process. Many people don’t ever get behind in a book writing project because they never even start, so if you started writing and fell behind, I say, “Yeah, you!”
You are still ahead of so many others who think about writing, who talk about writing, but never do any writing. Think about that for a while and wear it proudly if you’ve done any writing on your book!
Every word written gets the book closer and closer to the goal of publishing and using it to build your business. Now, go write!