In both 4 Reasons You Probably Shouldn’t Write a Book here, and it’s companion piece over at AboutWritingSquared 4 Reasons You Probably Should Write a Book I mentioned the time it takes to write a book.
The first question that may come up is how long does it take to write a book? I can’t answer that. It really depends on you, your writing experience and the kind of book you’re writing. A book for kids might not take as long as an academic book that requires lots of research, but then again, it might.
It’s impossible for me to tell you how much time it will take. But maybe this will help:
When I ghostwrite I like to have at least six months and sometimes a year or more to get the book done. I generally tell clients I’ll devote between 10 and 25 hours a week to their project.
In theory, how much time can you spend writing?
One approach is to figure out how much time you could, at least in theory, devote to writing your book every day, or every weekday, or every weekend. Then cut that figure in half and start scheduling it in your calendar.
Why half? Well, if you’re like me you tend to be overly optimistic about your time. I know I’m always trying to cram 10 or 12 hours into 8. If I think I can devote 4 hours a day to a book, the chances are I’ll really only get 2 or 3 hours done. It’s easier to add time when you can, than to set yourself up for failure with a goal you won’t and probably can’t reach.
Experiment. See if you really do spend an hour every weekday on your book before you go to work, or every evening after dinner. If you do, great, could you expand it to an hour and a half? Even two hours? And if you don’t manage to carve out that hour is it because it simply won’t work for you or is it something you need to practice until you get good at it? If it won’t work, pick another time and experiment some more. If you think it can work, practice for a couple of weeks and see what happens.
Where folks find the time
In any 24 hour day there are probably places you could find an hour. Here are some suggestions:
- Getting up an hour or so earlier and spending that working on the book.
- Writing during lunch hour.
- Writing before or after dinner.
- Pushing back your bedtime an hour to write.
- Eliminating one or more hour of television watching to write.
- Writing during down times at the office.
- If you’re a full-time freelancer, making the book your first hour or two – or, if you’re best in the afternoon, the last hour or two.
- Taking public transportation to work and writing during that commute time.
- Writing 3 or 4 hours on the weekends.
- Taking a 6 month break from your real job to write your book – or 3 months or vacation time.
- Quitting a job to write your book.
Even writing 15 minutes a day will, if you keep at it, get a book written and I suspect everyone, or darn near, can find 15 minutes at least five days a week to work on their book.
One truth about writing books is that if you’re committed, you’ll find away.
What’s been your experience in finding time to write?
Get some serious help writing your book with my Get Your Book Written With Vision & Spirit class.
Write well and often,
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