Friday, May 27, 2011

10,000 Hours

Apparently 10,000 is the number of hours you need to put into something in order to become an expert.

10,000 hours sounds like a lot of time and an unachievable goal, but it isn't. On Wednesday I listed the things that writers can class as work and it's a long list. If you add up all the time you spend doing that, then you're very likely to find that you are spending anything between 10 and 25 hours a week on your 'writing'.

At 10 hours a week it'll take 1,000 weeks to amass the required number, at 20 hours a week, 500 weeks, or about ten years. Behind those frightening numbers lies one very important point: you may become an expert at 10,000 hours, but along the way you'll become competent, good, very good, great and superb before you reach the level of expert. In short, 10,000 hours is a goal, but there will be many achievements along the way and you may end up with a book deal long before you reach it.

Your task for this weekend is to list all the hours you spend on writing-related tasks, using the list from Wednesday as a guide. If you think that some of the items on the list don't count, then don't include them in your tally of hours.

Here's my list from yesterday.

Reading: 3 hours
Writing: 2 hours
Planning: 30 minutes
Cogitating/Dreaming/Thinking: 1 hour.

6 hours 30 minutes in one day is pretty good, but most days I do half of that, so I average about 25 hours a week as I write at the weekends too.

Do your list and you'll be surprised at how time you spend writing and how close you are to the magic 10,000


Tana Adams said...

I'm afraid to see how much time I actually do nothing. But a great idea to get yourself organized!

Martin Willoughby said...

Tana: Have a go anyway, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

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