10,000 Hours

The guacamole was amazing. So was the atmosphere. Somewhere off in another part of the restaurant a Mariachi band played music.

We had just ordered dinner when the musicians found their way to our table. I couldn't help but notice one young man, a guitarist, who seemed to find my dinner companion irresistible. She giggled a bit and blushed. Moving closer to me, she mentioned that he looked familiar.

Only when the song was finished did he approach us. "Hello," he said to my friend. "I do not know if you recognize me . . . "

"Oh, yes!" she exclaimed. She introduced him to me. A friend from school. Someone she hadn't seen since forever. "What are you doing now?" she asked.

His answer, "I'm getting in my 10,000 hours."

She was baffled. I smiled. "Good for you," I acknowledged.

Ten thousand hours is all you need to become an expert at any skill. His 10,000 hours were going to make him an expert musician. His practice, persistence and passion would set him apart.

Artists, athletes, musicians and yes, writers, all benefit from 10,000 hours rules. Putting in time helps to hone your skills.

Practice: Sit down every day and write something even if it's only a bit of dialog.

Persistence: Write when it is difficult, when the muse is elusive and the right words do not seem to come.

Passion. Having passion for writing is what makes the practice and persistence doable. Without passion the writing becomes work instead of a pleasure.

Commit to becoming an expert today and finish your 10,000 hours.  
D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and Young Adult Science Fiction. Her latest book, Flight from the Water Planet, Book 1 of The Exodus Series was written with her coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.
D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.  
She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com
Her novels are available in electronic format here, or print format here
You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook


elysabeth said...

Interesting concept. How does one know when they have reached their 10,000 hours? I know just keep persevering and it will all pay off - lol. Thanks for sharing this story with us - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Jean, I love the concept of 10,000 hours. It really is about making a commitment to what you are trying to create in your life.

Mary Jo

Heidiwriter said...

Excellent! I'd never heard it expressed like this before. Puts a new perspective on things. Good post.

Magdalena Ball said...

D. Jean, this is such a good way of looking at writing - the notion of it being a practice rather than talent or inspiration based. If we put in the time (and I know 10k is indicative here, but it sound about right), then we will gain the expertise we need. Of course the practice doesn't stop at 10k - art is never mastered, but it's much less daunting to think in terms of putting in the hours rather than in terms of the nebulous thing called talent.

Karen Cioffi said...

I've read about the 10,000 hours to becoming an expert. I can't remember who originated it, though, but I've actually tried to figure out where I am in regard to it at this point in my career. LOL

And, it's so important to view the craft of writing as a skill, one like any other that needs to be worked at and honed.

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Shirley Corder said...

I've also heard of the 10,000 hours and cannot begin to fathom where I am on that scale. I'm sure I passed it a while back, or I like to tell myself that anyway.

That is probably the point in the figure though. Who could ever work out 10,000 hours? The point is surely, just keep on keeping on! You'll never get there, but don't stop now. Well written. Thank you.

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