Chronicling the journey of writing
Header
Photo: Veronica Louis

Photo: Veronica Louis

by Veronica Louis

9,999 hours to go!

I was first introduced to the notion of 10,000 hours in Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ album: The Heist. In their song Ten Thousand Hours (clip below), Macklemore raps: “I observed Escher, I loved Basquiat, I watched Keith Haring, you see I studied art. The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great because they painted a lot.”

And voila! You have it. 10,000 hours is the theory that it takes that many hours to become successful or an expert in a field. The 10,000-hour rule was made popular in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Outliers. In the book, through many examples he demonstrates how with time and practice experts are made not born. One of Gladwell’s more famous examples is The Beatles, and the considerable amount of time the band played together. In 1960 they were invited to play in Hamburg, Germany and there they had to play eight hours a day, seven days a week. By the end of their Germany stint, like Lennon described, they couldn’t help but get better and become more confident with the experience of playing all night long. The Beatles lyrics’ “It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog,” are a very fitting way to describe how much they worked to become The Beatles as we know them today. (more…)