Use Your 10,000 Hours of Writing Wisely

by Chris McGinty of

There is the concept that you can
become an expert on a subject or top of your class in a skill if you put in
10,000 hours of practice with feedback. I think its origin, or at least the
origin of its popularity, is Malcolm Gladwell. Ever since I learned of this
concept, I’ve been somewhat infatuated with trying to figure out what I’m an
expert in. 10,000 hours is 8 hours a day for 1,250 days, which is roughly 3.42
years. This means I’m an expert of 80s popular music. When I become an expert
in how to monetize that, I’ll let you know how to hire me for… well, I’ll
figure out why you’d hire me while I’m at it.

I’ve written a lot in my life. I’m
not sure if I’m an expert writer yet. I’m probably missing a lot of the
feedback. I’ve researched and studied, which has given me some feedback on
things like grammar, punctuation, and editing. I’ve read my previous writing
and compared it to the writing of others that I enjoy. Some people have even
read and commented on my work. I think in this way that I’ve improved as a
writer over the years. I still don’t think I’m great.
Impatience is the true dream
killer. It’s not naysayers, even if they can affect you. It’s not circumstance,
even if it plays a role. You can tune out the naysayers, and you can adjust
circumstance in many cases. If you want everything to happen tomorrow or it
means nothing to you, you’ll give up without really trying.
When you hand your writing to
people to critique, you should say something like this:
“I’m currently at x number of
hours out of 10,000 hours of practice. I need useful, constructive feedback to
help make these hours worthwhile.”
This gives the reader an idea of
what feedback you need, and it gives you an idea of where you are in your own
journey as a writer. If you want to be a professional writer, you will have to
put in the 10,000 hours with feedback eventually. Do as much of it as you can
before you worry about making it big. We do a bad job of understanding how much
work goes into learning a skill, and often believe that people are overnight
successes when in truth they spent far more than 3.42 years getting to where
they are.
Chris McGinty is a blogger who
may have hit his 10,000 hours of blogging over the years, but he’s currently
only at about 5 hours of writing these dumb blurbs. One day I’ll be a real

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