You know the old college saying, “For every hour in class you’ll need three to four hours outside class to study and complete assignments?” Well this idea kind of applies when writing a book. Keyword(s): kind of.
Officially, it took me two years and four months to write Dare To Move. Technically, I had my editor do three rounds of edits. And for those people who really care about numbers, I had two editors. There truly was a team of people working on this project, and you’ll learn more about them in the future. But when it comes to time, the act of writing thousands of words doesn’t take me long.
Some large chunks of the book were written in one hour, or on one specific day, while some days I came up with just one critical sentence. After the words fall down on the page like a waterfall, editing your words so they become more coherent thoughts takes time. Why? Because you second guess yourself! However, you must know that there is something else that takes even more time.
I thought about Dare To Move, all the time.
That character needs gray hair–the reader needs to see that. (Then I’d rush home to write in in like an artist with a paint brush, painting the canvas just the right way).
I need to show the main character’s body and contrast it with her lack of self-confidence.
Crap! His name should be Phil!
It was like being pregnant for over two years, because you’re mind is blatantly aware of this other being, this other THING that you cannot ignore, must tend to curiously and tenderly, while also worrying about all the things it may or may not do, when it’s not even a thing yet. Make sense?
So if you’re wondering how long it takes to write a book, the answer might be: until you’re done thinking. Until you’ve closed the doors, and you can walk away without looking back.
When you complete it, you’ll miss it, but you’ll be done contemplating.
And most importantly for those of you seeking hard and fast facts, I believe you can have the concept of any book down in a month, give or take. I believe you can understand most of it and even edit most of it (professionally) in a year. But, when you’ve never done it before, and it’s not a science-based, nonfiction book, you might need more than a year to truly own it, sit with it, [over]contemplate it again and make up your mind about it.
So, back to the ole’ college saying, for every day you’re in the writing process, you’ll at least need another day to process your work, to write a book.
Hope this helps,