How long will it take to write your novel?

Have you thought about what it would be like to see your name on a book cover? I mean, really thought about it?

In my coaching and publishing business, I’ve talked to many writers who are very excited about “one day” being published.

But they have no strategy for getting there.

There are a variety of reasons for maintaining a vague writing schedule: the unpredictability of life, not knowing how to publish, and even fear (of releasing a flop, for example—although I continue to tell my clients that the more feedback you can get on ChapterBuzz the better, especially in the early stages).

So what’s the trick? Be bold and set a date.

Of course life is unpredictable. Of course there’s more to learn about publishing. And of course you may experience some fear. But when you tell life that you’re gonna do this—no matter what it throws at you—some funny things happen: you start finding the time. Learning opportunities come your way. You stare down fear and it just…evaporates.

All when you decide that you’re going to do this. And what better way to start than by setting a date?

To be clear, this is not a firm release date, but more of a target date. And to figure it out, just think about how many words you can realistically write in a week or in a month, knowing that most novels are around 80,000 words. Build in a month for life’s craziness and that vacation you have planned. Then add 3 months for editing and publishing, and there’s your date!

Are you bold enough to set a date? Let’s hear it down in the comments!


11 thoughts on “How long will it take to write your novel?

  1. Date set, now how to get over the notion that a book can always be better, a chapter can be better, a sentence, a word. When’s the editing over? Come back in three months, and there’s so much I’d change. Come back in another three, likewise … The only answer I’ve come up with so far is that it’s over when you can’t take it any more, and the next book wants out. Your take?

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a great question, and you’re not alone. This happens to me and others all the time! I think it is a personal decision, and when you talk about the only answer you have come up with, that’s probably it. In my experience, though, each time I go back to it, there’s a little less to change each time. Which means that for me, there would definitely be a point where I’d say it’s good enough. (And then it’s always a good idea to hire an editor after doing your own revisions!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim, I wrote the first 10,000 words of my 70,000 word book, then realized I needed a story structure (outline). So, here I am working hard on trying to put the story together with the highlighted elements. This is slowing writing down, so it’s hard to set a date. At least I know where I’m going with the story theme. Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I did it. I calculated about how many words I can reasonably get written with all that’s going on in my life and I set the date of June 14 for the book to be finished, and Oct. 1 for it to be ready to publish. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Did the math set several target dates… date to have the first draft done. date to have edits done, publication date. etc. Life of course has intervened and I have adjusted the dates. BUT I am far closer to my goal than when I first started in November 2016. It will get published. 🙂 What is that old saying if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.


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