You may spend your week working a full-time job. You’re good at what you do, but you know in your heart that what you would really like to do is make a living as an author. It’s a wonderful dream, and one that is obtainable for many people. Most people who have this dream start small, writing on the side, or on the weekends. Once they start writing on the weekends, most novice writers will toy with the idea of writing an entire book in one weekend. While this might sound like a wonderful way to get your book out to the publishers quickly, there are a number of reasons why you should take your time when writing your next book.

Reason # 1: Research Takes Time

If you are writing a work of fiction, one that has the world and characters that you create, it is essential that the reader can relate to them in some fashion. In other words, they must have a sense of realism about them. This realism comes from inserting ideas, facts, geographical descriptions, even hair and eye color that people can recognize. It takes research to get the facts and details correct, and research takes time. For most authors, the process of researching a single book can last anywhere from a week to two or three months, even years! I do not know of any author who can do the minimum amount of research necessary to provide a complete and accurate picture of a world, and write it all down in one weekend.

For non-fiction, much of the time research is still necessary, especially if you are giving references to your readers or making sure you have your dates and times for events correct.

Reason # 2: Revision Time is a Necessity.

Nearly every editor will tell you that the majority of books they receive are in need of a great deal of editing, either for grammatical mistakes, content, or voice. In truth, the majority of the books you see on the market today were not written in one weekend, but rather over months and years. It is collaboration between the author’s ideas and words, and the editor’s expertise and experience. This time of revision and collaboration could never be successful if rushed through a weekend.

There are times, of course, when an author will chose to self-publish his or her book, and forego the use of an editor. One may think that if the editor is not utilized, the time used for editing is no longer needed. Unfortunately, this simply is not true. In my experience, for every hour that is written, at least 15 minutes is needed for the revision process. So, if a writer would work for eight solid hours, he or she would have to add at least two more hours onto their day. Add to that the fatigue, the need for breaks, to eat, to deal with the everyday life of your weekend, and the weekend can become even more exhausting than the workweek.

Reason # 3: Making the Writing Your Own

For many novice authors, the idea of writing a book in one weekend seems doable because all the information they want to write about is already out there in the form of blogs, web pages, other books, etcetera. After all, it has been said that there is “nothing new under the sun”. This idea, that an author can quickly transform what has already been written or recorded into something their own in a short 48-hour period, is a very dangerous one indeed. For starters, authors who make a practice of re-hashing others’ information quickly in a weekend run the immense risk of plagiarism. Whether they do it intentionally or not, the result is the same. If they are using their own information, writers often have fragmented text, where chapters don’t seem to resolve and the book does not flow properly. This leads to a very poor product and the reputation of the author will be that of one not willing to do what it takes to get their book done right.

Instead of trying to recycle old information, or old ideas quickly, it is better to take the information and ideas that you have learned and use them to highlight, prove, or empower your new writing. Incorporating, and crediting the ideas and concepts you have learned with your own ideas does take time. Rushing through this process can quickly lead to mistakes in accreditation, misunderstood concepts, and perhaps even a misrepresentation of the ideas involved. It is little wonder why successful authors take longer that one weekend to complete their masterpieces.

Now, all that being said, I wrote a little book called Financial Survival: A Lifestyle of Freedom in 3 1/2 days. I had all my research books and notes with me, no distractions, and did nothing but write during that time. I got everything down on paper. But was it publishable? If I had published what I wrote, would I have been proud of it? Absolutely not! During the next six weeks, my writing coach and I (every coach needs a coach) took my manuscript line by line and ripped it apart. The result is a book I can be proud of—and one that I get compliments on as to how much better my writing style has become.

The “write a book in one weekend” or “write and publish in one weekend” fads will continue to appeal to the people who want a quick fix. But a quick fix can cost you much more in the long run.

Writing during a weekend is a great way to get started on your new book, whether it is one of fantasy or historical fact. However, in order to produce a quality piece that publishers will be clamoring to use, or that you can be proud of putting your name on the cover, it is essential to take the time and allow the process of writing, revision and re-writing to work. By learning to take the time necessary, you’ll quickly see that a book written in a weekend wouldn’t be worth the paper or effort that you put into it.

What are your thoughts? Did you successfully write an entire book in one weekend that you’re proud of? Without using pre-existing material? What were your struggles? Your successes? I’d love to hear your stories!


Hint: Low-content books can easily be “written” in a weekend. In fact I’ve created five of these types of books in just a few days. To learn how I did it, join us over at The Book Ninja Academy!

Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy Laidig is the founder of The Book Ninja. She has authored over 40 books, started over 50 publishing companies, trained over 10,000 authors worldwide, has her black belt in karate, and eats way too much chocolate. She currently changes lives through her students… one published message at a time, manages her two retail stores Toy Box Gifts & Wonder® and Nerdvana Outpost in the heart of her newfound hometown, Chambersburg, PA, is in the start-up phase of at least three new businesses at any given time, and generally causes anyone reading this bio to be out of breath. On her “off” time (what’s that?) she brainstorms business ideas with her awesome husband, the great Public Domain Expert himself, Tony Laidig, and hangs out with her two ragdoll kitties. She’s even been known to sleep... occasionally.

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