Stephen King says you should be able to finish the first draft of a book in 3 months. Still most writers take years to write their first book. It’s a colossal undertaking on your first go at it.
PrinterInks.com created the chart below to show how long it took for some of the famous works we all love took to write.
I was surprised to see that A Clockwork Orange, one of my favorites only took 3 weeks.
I think this chart is a great way of visualizing how little or how much time it could take to complete the task you have a hand. Some books I’m impressed by the quickness of their writing and others I’m shocked by the length of time it took to complete them.
Like Catcher in the Rye. It took 10 years for J D Salinger to write that book.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Personally, I aim for 1500 words a day. A book just about every 3 months. But I haven’t been able to hit that consistently lately. I have 2/3 books in a fantasy series I wrote over a year ago that I haven’t had the interest in editing, a western, and 2 dystopian scifi books that I haven’t edited either. When I wasn’t worried about trying to sell the books I wrote, I wrote a lot faster. I also planned the story-line a lot less. I’m trying to get back to that, and to get back to editing the books I wrote years ago. (I didn’t publish them because they were early works. Early works always felt too weak to share).
If you are interested in more of my work you can find my books here: