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What Does 10,000 Hours Mean?

January 4th, 2013 | Posted by Veronica Louis in What Does 10,000 Hours Mean? | Writing
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.

While this theory might not be founded in complete science, there is something romantic almost idealistic about the idea of putting 10,000 hours into something before becoming great at it.

For the purpose of this new blog, I will adopt this theory and count down my own 10,000 hours of writing until I get to 0. At 0, I will take the power vested in me by me and declare myself an expert writer.

For the sake of accuracy, I will disregard all my previous writing written until now, and start fresh at 10,000 hours. Every week, I will keep track of my hours and post my new number on my 10,000 Hours Countdown (on the right).

This number will include my freelance writing, blog writing and novel writing and well, any other types of writing I may be doing. This is the beginning of an adventure, or rather a challenge. Will I, Veronica Louis, take on this challenge and kick ass? Will I give up? Or will I avail?  Well, stay tuned, because every week is a new week and every day, rather every hour is a brand new spanking opportunity to write.

One hour down! 9,999 hours to go! Booya Kasha!

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