Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Master Of Your Craft

It takes 10,000 hours to master the writing craft, so let's not beat around the bush. To become a published author, earning a full time income, and to be considered one of the wise ones in your field, you have to put in 10,000 hours to get there.

But why 10,000 hours? In Malcolm Gladwell’s "Outliers", he shows that researchers have discovered that every master in their respective fields has been training for approximately 10,000 hours. Even the likes of Bill Gates put in 10,000 hours worth of computer programming in school before he hit it big with Microsoft. The Beatles use to play for 10 hours straight on stage in Hamburg before striking it big time. Even Mozart, a considered child prodigy, didn't compose his first masterpiece till his early 20's, which meant he was practising full time for well over a decade before it.

So what's this mean for you? It means there are no easy shortcuts. Almost everyone thinks they have a book in them, and as many people believe they have the ability to write one, and will do so by their life’s end. But in reality, this is ridiculous. It's like someone saying, "Yeah, I will probably participate in the Olympic games at some point in my life". People grossly underestimate the skill and ability needed to write a novel, because on the surface, it looks easy. But in reality, it’s the masters of the craft that make it look effortless.

An example I think is the Harry Potter series. When I first read it as a teenager, I was like, "This is so easily written, I will dominate the writing market," It wasn't till years later, when I picked it up again, that I realised how well written the series was because I had a greater understanding of the craft.

So what is the real point of this post? Well it's to make you realise this isn't a quick journey. That if you're really serious about being a published author, then you got to be willing to take the long road. You must realise that it may take you 10 years to get there, that it may not be your first book, your second book, or even your third or fourth book that sells. You have to be in it for the long haul, and must write just to write. If you do this, then the journey will be a little easier on your soul.

Have a good one

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