Epic Writing Project

This post is about my successful effort to write out the New King James Version of the Bible.

For many years I have assigned myself various writing challenges:

  • 500 words per day for 30 days
  • 1000 words per day for 365 days
  • 30 Psalms in 30 Days

After complete the 30 psalms challenge – and a small break – I decided to commit to the same challenge that others have tried: Write out the entire Bible by hand.

While the total number of words varies by version, the full Bible comes in at about 775,000 words. These words are unequally distributed across 2 testaments, 40 authors, 66 books, 1,189 chapters, and 31,102 verses. As I decided that persistence over time would eventually result in success, I elected to commit to writing a small number of verses every day – 10. Simple math calculations resulted in an estimate of 3,110 days or 8.5 years to complete.

On April 24, 2014 I started writing in a Moleskine notebook. Even with occasional pauses, I completed this project on November 22, 2019. It took 5.5 years and 13 Moleskine notebook volumes to complete.

At the beginning, this Bible writing challenge was daunting. After all, after the first day’s output of 10 verses, I was 0.03% done. I tracked my complete rates, which will be the subject of future post. Along the way I took notes and marked interesting verses in the front cover of each volume.

As a result, I found this to be a spiritually rewarding activity as well as a great study of writing. The Bible is consistently the best selling book because it provides spiritual guidance in the form (more than half) of stories by various authors. Each writer had a unique style, and I found it enjoyable to see how each utilized different techniques and styles to tell their stories as inspired by God.

These are some lessons I learned along the way …

  • Whatever you do, consistent effort over time is essential. You will eventually reach your goals.
  • Tracking progress is a visual way to keep motivated.
  • Setting time aside daily in your calendar is essential.
  • Occasional reward for meeting goals is also a great way keep going.

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