This post originally appeared on Medium in December 2020.

Here is the straight answer…

Well, okay, there is no direct answer to this question. It depends on the coaching package you purchase and what you want to accomplish.

Many coaches, myself included, offer a bite-sized introduction to their larger coaching packages. This may involve just one call or a one-time evaluation of your work.

Most also offer longer packages that have a specific time-frame. For example, I offer an 8-week planning package for starting a novel and a 4-week accountability and time management consultation. Other coaches offer limited-time packages around pitching, book proposals, and more.

This is the core work that most of us do. You have weekly or bi-monthly deadlines for a certain number of pages, followed by written feedback and a call to discuss and set goals. This is, of course, harder to say how long it will take. It depends on the length of your project and how much revision needs to be done.

Try this: if a typical novel is about 50,000 words and a typically-formatted typed page is about 250 words, and you are going to submit 20ish pages every other week, you can do the math to figure out how many months of coaching will get you where you want to be.

Most importantly, it depends on the amount of focused work you are willing to do. If you are in it to get your book done, then you have to be open and willing to work hard and stick to the deadlines.

I might offer here that the number of days/weeks/months perhaps isn’t what matters. What matters is the results you will get at the end. If this book idea has been in your head or halfway started in your computer files for five, ten, twenty years, then what does a few more months matter if it’s actually …finally! … going to get finished? Just my humble opinion.