You’ve stumbled upon a blog – or actually, a blogger – with an ambitious goal:
I will write (creatively) for 10,000 hours.
“But why would you do that?” you ask.
“To become an expert.”
You look at me, head tilted, one eyebrow raised, and shake your head slightly.
“That sounds boring,” you say. “Why not do something more entertaining for 10,000 hours? Like juggle. You could become the best juggler the world has ever seen. You could make juggling into more than a clown’s favorite activity. You could make it a sport to be revered.”
Now, I’ve got to admit that you have a point. To be the world’s foremost juggler, maybe the best juggler in history, would be super neat. It would certainly be more interesting to watch than writing. Plus, as I can already juggle (four balls on a good day), I have a solid base on which to build.
But my ambition is not the be the world’s foremost juggler. I just want to be a really, really fantastic writer. What’s more, I enjoy writing more than juggling. Love it.
So even if no one but my patient boyfriend, ultra-proud mum, and occasional writing group ever notices the difference between hour one and hour 2500, this is something I want to try.
WHY 10,000 HOURS?
If you’ve read Outliers by Malcolm Galdwell, you may be familiar with the 10,000 rule. Basically, Gladwell puts forth the idea that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice is the magic number for true expertise in an area. I’m sure we could all come up with examples of great achievement without this kind of time expenditure, but it is an interesting and inspiring idea that if a person has an average amount of innate talent in an area, the difference between being good and being great is simply a matter of dedication and willingness to work.
I think the digital age allows for a host of opportunities for creative writers. There are sites for posting short stories and poetry, and there are sites dedicated to helping novice writers through writer’s block, with inspiration, with editing. There are online communities which allow you to write collaboratively with complete strangers, and there are blogs, which can function simply as publishable journals. The time we live in gives us dozens more opportunities for sharing, connecting, and writing publicly than ever before.
Part of what this blog aims to do is test out and share those opportunities with you, as I work my way from hour 1 to hour 10,000.
You might ask how long it will take to get there, and that is a reasonable question. Let’s do some math. If we break this down into reasonable chunks – let’s say one hour a day, every day, without exception – it will take me approximately 27.4 years. Two hours a day will take about 13.7 years, three will take 9.15, and four hours of creative writing per day will take 6.85 years.
Basically, sit down and strap in for the long haul, folks.