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Can you write a book in 7 days?

Writing a book in just 7 days may seem like an impossible feat, but with dedication, planning, and self-discipline, it is achievable for some writers. Successful 7 day book writing requires diligent preparation, effective time management skills, fast writing skills, and ruthless editing. While challenging, writing a full book in just one week is an exciting way to draft a complete manuscript quickly.

Is it realistic to write a book in 7 days?

At first glance, writing an entire book in just 7 days seems unrealistic. Most full-length books take months or years to write. However, with focus and determination, it is possible for some writers to draft a complete manuscript in just one week. Here are some key considerations:

  • Word count – Most full-length books are 50,000-90,000 words. Drafting a 50,000 word manuscript in 7 days means writing over 7,000 words per day.
  • Genre – Certain genres like poetry, personal essays or short stories are easier to draft quickly than complex genres like fantasy or literary fiction.
  • Quality – A book written in only 7 days will likely require significant revisions and editing before it is publication ready.
  • Skills – Writers capable of writing 7,000+ words per day have usually developed their skills over years of practice.
  • Prep work – Having an outline, research, character sketches etc done ahead of time can make the writing process easier.
  • Dedication – Writers need to be fully committed to writing consistently without distractions for the entire week.

While daunting, writing a book in a week is possible for writers with the necessary skills, prep work, experience and motivation to dedicate themselves fully to the project.

How long does it take most authors to write a book?

On average, most traditionally published authors take 1-3 years to write a book. Here are some estimates on average book writing timeframes:

Book length Average writing time
Short novella (17,500 – 40,000 words) 2-6 months
Novel (50,000 – 110,000 words) 6 months – 1 year
Epic novel (120,000+ words) 1-2 years
Nonfiction (50,000 – 90,000 words) 1-3 years

However, writing timeframes vary significantly. Some key factors impact how long it takes to write a book:

  • Writing schedule – Full-time writers can complete books faster than authors writing in their spare time.
  • Experience level – Newer writers typically take longer to write books than seasoned authors.
  • Editing process – Some authors edit extensively as they write, slowing the initial drafting phase.
  • Writer’s block – Long periods where the author struggles to make progress extend writing timelines.
  • Research – Nonfiction and historical fiction require extensive research time.
  • Book complexity – Books with complex worldbuilding, characters, or structures require more time.

While most books take over a year to write, some prolific, experienced authors comfortable writing to deadline can draft quality books in just a few months. However, for most writers taking the time to carefully craft a book over 1-3 years is ideal.

How to write a book in 7 days

Writing an entire book in just one week requires intense diligence and writing stamina. Here is a step-by-step guide to complete a book draft in 7 days:

Before you start:

  • Choose a simple, straightforward genre and plot like a romance, thriller, or personal memoir.
  • Develop an outline so you don’t waste time figuring out the story as you go.
  • Gather any necessary research ahead of time.
  • Build character profiles and settings.
  • Establish a stripped down minimal writing environment to avoid distractions.
  • Set a daily word count goal of ~7,000 words.
  • Clear your schedule and commit to writing consistently for the entire week.

Daily writing schedule:

To complete a 50,000 word draft in 7 days, you need to write at least 7,000 words per day. Here is a schedule you can follow each day:

Time Task Daily word count
8:00 – 9:00 AM Outline scenes to write that day 0
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Uninterrupted writing 2,000 – 3,000
12:00 – 1:00 PM Break for exercise and meal 0
1:00 – 5:00 PM Uninterrupted writing 3,000 – 4,000
5:00 – 6:00 PM Break for exercise and meal 0
6:00 – 10:00 PM Uninterrupted writing 2,000 – 3,000
Total daily words: 7,000 – 10,000

This schedule allows for three focused 4-hour writing sessions per day, separated by breaks for meals, exercise, and recharging to maintain stamina.

Tips for staying on track:

  • No editing or rereading – resist the urge to start editing until you finish your draft.
  • Keep descriptions sparse – include just enough detail to move the story forward.
  • Power through writer’s block – push through even when the writing gets tough.
  • Stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and eat healthy foods – writing is mentally and physically draining.
  • Reward yourself at the end of each writing session – enjoy a treat to stay motivated.

After your 7 day writing challenge:

After finishing your 7 day marathon writing session, be sure to celebrate your achievement! But remember, you will likely still have significant work left to refine your draft into a high quality complete book:

  • Take a 1-2 week break to recharge before diving into editing.
  • Print out the completed draft and edit on paper – looking at hard copy helps spot issues.
  • Read the manuscript out loud to identify awkward phrasing.
  • Share the draft with beta readers to get feedback.
  • Work through multiple rounds of editing to polish the book.
  • Fact check any research-based nonfiction content.
  • Have the manuscript professionally edited and proofread before publication.

Pros of writing a book quickly

Here are some potential benefits of challenging yourself to draft a book in just 7 days:

  • Momentum – Riding an intense burst of momentum can result in retaining your book vision clearly.
  • Less editing – Compressing writing into one short timeframe can reduce overthinking and overediting.
  • Confidence – Proving to yourself you can write quickly builds self-assurance.
  • Complete draft – Having a finished draft ready can motivate you to push through editing.
  • Learn your abilities – Testing your limits helps you understand your true writing capacity.
  • Focus – Immersive, uninterrupted writing time can result in a unified novel.

For some writers, rapidly drafting a complete book provides advantages over slower, more meticulous writing and editing.

Cons of writing a book quickly

However, attempting to write an entire book in just one week also has some notable downsides:

  • Lower quality – Rushed writing often results in mediocre writing and storytelling.
  • Fatigue – Pushing too hard to write quickly can lead to burnout.
  • Lack of enjoyment – Hurrying through the process reduces the joy of writing.
  • Minimal editing – A rushed first draft requires heavy editing later.
  • Less research – Speed writing means less time for in-depth research.
  • Stress – Extreme writing goals add pressure and anxiety.

Attempting to finish a book too quickly can negatively impact writing quality, lead to fatigue and stress, and result in an extremely rough first draft.

Is it worth trying to write a book in 7 days?

Here are some tips on deciding if you should attempt this writing challenge:

  • Know yourself as a writer – do you thrive under tight deadlines or feel blocked by them?
  • Pick the right book project – some books require extensive research or detailed plotting.
  • Have a completed outline and character profiles – don’t waste writing time on planning.
  • Clear your schedule completely – protect your writing time.
  • Be prepared for an intensive editing process later – the draft will likely need significant reworking.
  • Try a practice run first – attempt a short story in 1-2 days to test your process.
  • Make sure you are in the right mental space – don’t force it if you’re dealing with writer’s block or burnout.

Trying to write a full book in just one week can be extremely rewarding and provide useful insight into your writing capabilities. But make sure you carefully consider if attempting this writing sprint aligns with your skills, personality, and book project first.


Writing an entire book in just 7 days is certainly an ambitious goal that many authors would find impossible. However, with diligent preparation, an intense writing schedule, stamina, and ruthless commitment, it is possible for some writers to draft a complete manuscript within one week. Many well-known prolific authors, like Isaac Asimov and Stephen King, have written books remarkably quickly by dedicating long hours continuously to the writing process.

Attempting a 7 day book writing challenge can help build confidence, momentum, andtap into intense focus. But the final manuscript will still require extensive editing and revision in order to polish the book for publication. Ultimately, most writers are still better off taking 1-3 years to thoughtfully write, edit, and refine their book rather than rushing through the drafting phase in only one week. However, for some authors capable of writing at speed, writing a book in 7 days can be an exhilarating way to challenge themselves and get a full first draft completed quickly.