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How long should it take to write a book or novel?

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

If you're like me, you've probably asked yourself this question a million times. You have a brilliant idea for a story, you sit down at your computer, and you start typing away. But then, something happens. You get distracted by social media, you run out of coffee, you realize you have no clue what your characters are doing, or you just lose interest in the whole thing. And before you know it, months or even years have passed and you still haven't finished your book. (This is speaking from experience!)

So, how long should it take to write a book or novel? Well, the answer depends. It depends on a lot of factors, such as:

- The genre and length of your book. Some genres, like fantasy or historical fiction, tend to be longer and more complex than others, like romance or thriller. The longer and more complex your book is, the more time it will take to write.

- The amount of research and planning you do. Some writers like to outline their entire plot and do extensive research before they start writing (my preferred method) whilst others prefer to wing it and discover their story as they go along. The more research and planning you do, the less time it will take to write (but the more time it will take to prepare). My book The Utopia Conspiracy includes lots of real-life conspiracy theories including Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and JFK to name a few and I would honestly say I spent as much time researching as I did writing.

- The quality and quantity of your writing. Some writers are perfectionists who edit every sentence as they write, while others are speed demons who churn out thousands of words a day without looking back. The more quality and quantity you aim for, the more time it will take to write (but the less time it will take to revise). Again my preference is to run with the story flowing into my mind and then review it at the end of the chapter for grammar. I sometimes also add place holders which I would then highlight in yellow to return to later such as (Add something here about placeholders)

- The level of motivation and discipline you have. Some writers are passionate and dedicated to their craft, while others are quickly bored and procrastinate a lot. The more motivation and discipline you have, the less time it will take to write (but the more effort it will require).

As you can see, there is no definitive answer to how long it should take to write a book or novel. It’s the typical piece of string type question and therefore It could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few decades, depending on how you approach the process. But don't let that discourage you. Writing a book or novel is a rewarding and fulfilling experience that can enrich your life and the lives of your readers. So don't worry about how long it should take. Just focus on enjoying the journey and reaching the destination at your own pace.

And remember: the only way to finish a book or novel is to write it.

If you have already written your first book how long did it take?

How long o write your first book?

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