If you’re reading this because you’re writing (or want to write) a book, wondering how long it’ll take, brace yourself:
It can take one week, one month, eight months, one year, ten years, thirty years …
The annoying truth is, books have been written in all of those time frames.
I know authors who’ve written a book in three days (not kidding).
I’ve talked to writers who are still working on a book they started 5+ years ago.
Some of my author friends take two weeks, others average about six months. Some take three months. Some take a year and a half.
It takes me about a month to write a book.
That’s an average. Most of my books take me six weeks or so, but every now and then one will come along and take less than a month. And then another one will come along and take me several months.
But how long it takes me isn’t really what matters. What I hope you’ll take away from this:
There is no right amount of time to take writing a book. Slower is not better. Faster is not better.
It’s a common misperception that better books take longer to write, because the author took his/her time.
I call absolute BS on that. Some books are written very quickly, not because the author was rushed, but because he was inspired, and couldn’t get the words down fast enough (it happens).
And the BS goes both ways! A quickly-written book isn’t inherently better than a book that took a year. Some books are simply trickier, they take their time revealing themselves to the author, or have more intricate plots. That happens too.
Or maybe it’s more complicated than that. Maybe the author was inspired wanted to write fast, but other commitments got in the way and slowed his/her pace.
Once again, it depends.
On the author. On the story. On the circumstances.
Also? It doesn’t really matter.
I realize that I speak only for my own booklist, my own genre, but I don’t know that the length of time spent writing a book determines its greatness.
I know what my bestsellers are. I know what my best reviewed books are. I also know my worst-reviewed, and my worst sellers.
I’ve found no correlation between time-spent writing the book and the sales/critical reception of the book.
How long does it take to write a book?
It takes as long as it takes.