The most valuable thing a writer can learn is how long does it take to write a book. And while most sources say it depends, we break it down for you.
According to this article that interviewed famous authors, when asked how long it took to produce their debut novels, the answers ranged from four years to a decade. In other words, a very long time.
While it’s nice to be able to take your time honing and polishing your new book, a rough draft sitting on your hard drive isn’t doing anything for you.
It’s not building your author name, spreading your message, or growing your audience.
Moreover, it’s not earning you a single cent.
But there is amazing news:
Writing your book can take far less time than you think. You just need to have the right mindset and stay motivated.
Here’s what you’ll learn about how long it takes to write a book:
- How to create a deadline
- Prioritizing to take less time to write a book
- Create word count goals
- Find accountability to write a book faster
- Set challenges to finish writing your book
Here at Self-Publishing School, our goal is to improve this arduous writing process. Right now, we coach our students to routinely complete a new book in just 90 days, finishing their first draft in as little as 30 days!
They are able to accomplish this by following a simple step-by-step guide that we’re going to share with you today.
NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program.
Learn more about it here
How long does it take to write a book?
Many authors report that it takes up to a year to write a book, but more recently, authors are finishing their books in as little as a month to 90 days. How long it takes to write a book largely depends on how much time the writer puts in to actually writing it, though.
The truth about how long it takes to write a book depends on how many words are in it.
Here’s a guideline for how long it takes to write a book:
- 30,000 – 50,000 words: 500 words/day = 60 – 100 days
- 50,000 – 80,000 words: 500 words/day = 100 – 160 days
- 80,000 – 100,000 words: 500 words/day = 160 – 200 days
Essentially, the length of time it takes can be anywhere from two months to 7 months depending on how often you write and how many words you write per session.
Following the guidelines below, you can learn to supercharge your own book writing process, and you’ll become a published author much faster.
How to Write a Book Faster so it Doesn’t Take as Long
If you want to know how to write a book faster so it doesn’t take as long, here are our best tips.
#1 – Establishing a Strategic Deadline
Deadlines are designed to help you inch closer to completing your book. It also encourages you to work every day hitting both short-term and long-term goals. However, you won’t find success by setting arbitrary due dates. They must be set up for your book’s success.
Here are 3 ways to establish strategic deadlines:
- Define realistic deadlines. Set short term and long term deadlines for each portion of your draft that breaks down your entire book.
- Set honest expectations. If you’re only able to write 500 words a day, so be it. Don’t push yourself into thinking that you can complete an unrealistic task. Be honest with your abilities and align it with your deadline.
- Implement rewards. Don’t make writing a book feel like a tedious job. Reward yourself for achieving your goals! Attaching rewards to each accomplishment will make finishing your book much more aspiring to complete.
Before writing, set your first draft time frame between 30-90 days and set target dates that tackle both short term and long term goals for your first draft.
#2 – Prioritizing Your Writing Into Tasks
What separates those who can write multiple books to those who can barely write a page is the ability to prioritize. Because there are so many competing factors that pull away our time and energy, prioritizing is actually a very hard concept to implement.
But in order to write your book, you need to establish clear priorities to get anything done.
Here are some ways to prioritize your work:
- List out every detail of your book and turn them into tasks
- Assess each task to identify what carries the biggest value to completing your book
- Order tasks by its immediate priority and length of time to complete
- Anticipate unexpected changes to your schedule, and plan an alternative schedule to stay on track
Make the effort and spend a few hours prioritizing your writing process. You will be surprised with how much writing you can accomplish with a well thought out task plan.
#3 – Creating Word Count Goals
One of the best ways to accelerate the writing process is to set word count goals. Like training intervals, setting up word count goals will pace how many words to write a day.
First you have to understand how many words in a novel for your genre. Once you know this, you can work backward to figure out how much you have to write each day in order to reach your deadline.
By establishing these parameters for your own success, not only will you be more likely to accomplish these goals, but you will also notice improvements to your writing.
Here’s an example of a tracking sheet you can set up in order to accomplish your word count goals:
We recommend writing down your daily, weekly, and monthly word count goals to not only show your current progress, but to keep you motivated until you reach the end.
It also helps to include rewards for every new milestone!
Start your daily word count goal to 500-1,000 words per day. By completing 1,000 words per day, you’ll be looking at your completed 30,000 word first draft in one month!
#4 – Finding Your Accountability Partner
A supportive partner can be a great soundboard, a first pair of eyes, and a protector of your sanity. They can also be the extrinsic motivation you need to meet your own deadlines and word counts.
When you have an accountability partner backing you up, it makes it harder to procrastinate because they expect great results from you!
At Self-Publishing School, we believe in the accountability system and encourage our students to pair up with other like-minded students to encourage one another and hold each other accountable for reaching goals and deadlines.
It’s a great motivating tactic and helps our students complete their books on time.
Find an accountability partner who is willing to encourage and hold you accountable to meet your deadlines!
#5 – Setting Challenges for Yourself
Following the same routine can get old quickly especially for something lengthy like writing the first draft of your book.
To combat the fear of boredom and add more spark to your writing project, we encourage you to set challenges for yourself!
Here are some simple challenges to set to write your book faster:
- Double the word count you’ve originally set daily, monthly, yearly
- Purposely tighten deadlines to increase pressure
- Ban the use of your phone or all forms of distractions until you’ve completed your task
- Read your unfinished draft out loud to someone new for feedback
Include a few of these challenges every so often to increase the intensity of your writing. You may tack on even better rewards for each successful challenge you’ve completed.
If you ever dream of becoming a self-published author, now is the time to finally make it a reality.
By following these guidelines on how to develop a robust writing process, you will have your first book ready to publish in no time.
Ready to become a successful author?
You already know you want to write a book. Your problem is how to get it done timely. Because let’s be honest, we all don’t have years to get a book done.
But that’s where we come in.
Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!