Do you want to become a writer, who rises above the crowd?
Have you got what it takes to turn deliberate practice into part of your writing life?
Let me tell you where I went wrong.
Two years ago, I read the book Outliers: The Story of Success by the Canadian writer, Malcolm Gladwell.
In his popular psychology book, Gladwell explains it takes 10,000 hours to master a discipline, like playing the violin or writing.
“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”
I took Gladwell’s point at face value.
I wanted to achieve my 10,000 hours.
So, I set a target of writing just fiction for 3 hours a day or 21 hours a week.
I picked three hours a day, because most fiction writers — even Stephen King — don’t write over three hours a day, every day.
I recorded how long I spent writing fiction each day, using a timer on my computer, and I totalled up the hours at the end of the week.
Three hours a day adds up to twenty-one hours a week and approximately one thousand hours a year. At this rate, it would take ten years to achieve mastery, AND that means, writing seven days a week, 365 days a year.
No sick days, no holidays, and no time off.
Deliberate performance is tough.
I found it impossible to balance the demands of a job and family life with writing fiction three hours a day, every day without a break.
I resented this lack of progress, and my plan fell apart within weeks. Then, I discovered how Mozart turned deliberate practice into part of his early life.