I have been doing some writing, other than my blog, for some time now. Whenever I get discouraged, my husband reminds me that Malcom Gladwell in the "Outliers" postulates that success often comes after hours and hours of practice. Some 10,000 hours for people who are at the top of their game. We're talking Mozart here, and I have no illusions, but practice may be important even for us neophytes.
Other factors play into success, not the least of which is privilege and luck. But since I believe in attracting my own luck, and privilege is not in the cards, I started to take a look at what is actually in my control; said 10,000 hours.
Let's see, there would be a childhood of reading, definitely a part of writing, so that should be good for at least a thousand hours. Then there was school. I can't say I was an overachiever in high school, so maybe another thousand hours, total. I like to comfort myself in the knowledge that the developmental goal for adolescence is social, not necessarily academic. Thin, I know.
So that leaves college and years of reading on my own. I did my best in college. I usually have more than one book going at any one time. Another two thousand hours.
Now for the actual writing. Not counting college papers, which I admit were numerous - the structure of human development and family studies - which is still evolving - required tons of writing. But what about lately? Work emails and your usual business correspondence doesn't really require much creativity. And that's been a while anyway. So that leaves my blog.
Three hundred and one posts to date. How many hours? Well, some took a little research, some quite a bit of research, but mostly an hour or two for each one, max.
That's not many hours! I'm probably only halfway to my 10,000 hours. Which actually makes me feel better, in a perverse way. It explains a few things.
What about you? Does your craft or dream require practice, or can you rely on luck and/or privilege?