Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The 10,000 Hour Rule: Is This The Key To Becoming A Better Writer?

For those of you who haven't yet heard of the 10,000 Hour Rule,  it states that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill, any skill.

That means that it would take 10 years of practicing a skill 3 hours a day, or 5 years of practicing it 6 hours a day, to become expertly proficient. 

While I am not convinced that becoming proficient really requires 10,000 hours, the premise behind the rule certainly does make sense. The more time we spend doing something (ie: perfecting it), it stands to reason that we will become more adept at that particular skill.

Writing is no exception. The more I write and the more I blog, the more comfortable I get doing it. With experience, I have found that it is easier to pull information to write about and to generate new ideas. I have also managed to become more proficient with Blogger and Wordpress, website design, HTML & CSS coding, and using Social Media networks. 
I can also see great progress as I move forward with my writing, compared with my earliest essays and blog posts. I am fairly certain that as I continue writing in the future, I will continue to grow and become better at the craft of writing.

The question then is whether my skills come from continued practice, or am I innately gifted and talented at the art of writing? I love to write and always have. Crafting stories is something that I began doing in my early childhood days and have always been good at it. Writing and storycrafting just come naturally to me.

So, could the reason that the 10,000 hour rule seems to work is that only people who are genuinely interested in and talented at something will put in the time and effort required to become proficient?  

I don't know the answer to that question, but I will say that having a desire to do something, combined with practicing that skill to increase your proficiency, certainly seems to be the winning combination.

I know for instance that I will never be a mathematician. Why? Because I absolutely hate, hate, HATE, math! It is something that I always struggled with, and never performed particularly well in. To be honest, I really don't think that even with 20,000 hours of practice (not that I could ever force myself to contribute 20,000 hours of my time to such a boring and nonrewarding endeavor), that I would ever be proficient enough at math to call myself an expert. I may be wrong on that, but I doubt it!

So, I guess I would have to say that the real key to becoming a better writing is a combination of talent, passion, and practice.


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