When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed,
Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens,
“Why god? Why me?” and the thundering voice of God answered,
“There’s just something about you that pisses me off.”
Stephen King says we need to have written one million words before we can call ourselves writers. No offense, Stephen, (just pretend I’m on a first name basis with him), but I just read something that makes even more sense.
According to Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, humans need 10,000 hours of practice before we get really good at something.
What?! 10,000 hours? That’s an eternity!
Yeah, but the Beatles put in the time. Bill Gates did too. And I’d be willing to bet Stephen King has as well.
Anyone can write 1,000,000 words. Just because you’ve written them doesn’t mean you’ve edited them- that’s the hard part. Nor does it take into account the critiquing you’ve done for others or the reading you’ve done to study the craft. That should count toward a writer’s 10,000 hours.
I really have no idea how many hours I’ve spent working to be a writer- I doubt I’d want to see the tally. But I’m inching my way toward 10,000 hours every day.
What do you think? 1,000,000 words or 10,000 hours? Where are you on the spectrum?