A short post for a busy week...
His hypothesis is that it takes 10,000 hours of intense practice in whatever craft you work in - whether computers, music, or in our case, writing - to achieve the kind of mastery that can make you an outlier. There are other factors that weigh in, of course: native talent is nice, as well as a certain intellectual ability. But by and large, it is practice, and lots of it, that make someone more successful than those around him or her.
If you look carefully at the resumes of our most talented and renowned authors you'll notice that by and large they spent a long time getting to the top of the field; there are very few overnight successes.
Do I write every day? I try to, but there are days... The way I look at it, however long I spend at my desk I'm adding to the 10,000 hours I'll need to achieve anything even approaching mastery of the craft of writing for children.
With a rough calculation, 10,000 hours is the equivalent of a year and a quarter of 24/7/365 days. Which means if you work on writing like most normal people, at say, 5 hours per day (and take weekends off but no vacations) it will take you closer to 8 years of steady practice to achieve this kind of mastery.
Eight years of intense practice - constant, daily, rigorous practice with no vacations, sick days, family reunions, kid crises - to achieve anything approaching mastery. I'm sure that even with my steady effort over the course of ten years of writing for children I haven't even approached 10,000 hours.
I think it's time for me to get back to practicing...