There are no talents; just experience. (week 7)

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You want to be a writer.
But the words you put on the page don’t seem to do the justice to the thoughts that were in your head.
You probably think that you lack talent.
But there is no such thing, all you lack is practice.

The Problem.
Surprisingly, many people who want to become writers don’t write nearly enough, and that is the worst habit you can develop. I was one of those people and let me tell you it was not a pretty feeling Obviously our body wants us to minimize effort in order to preserve energy, thus we can easily spend 6 hours watching Orange is the New Black (something I am guilty of) and then blame the lack of writing on the lack of time.

I started writing 500 words per day 6 weeks ago, and I find the act of writing easy. But sitting down and starting is still hard for me. Twice this month I did not get anything written, although I know it would have only taken me 25 minutes. There are forces in us that keep us from doing things that are hard.  But we will need to fight them because to become a professional writer it will take more time than I initially thought.

How much practice will we need?
There is a notion that it takes about 1,000,000 words to become a professional writer, but now I believe that that notion is far off. I have been reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book called Outliers, where he debunked the whole notion of talent. He did it by showing that all the people that we consider geniuses in a certain field have one thing in common: roughly 10,000 hours of practice in their respective fields.

Here is how much practice you will really need.
By doing a quick calculation, I figured out the following. To get 10,000 hours of practice, I will need to spend 3 hours per day for the next 10 years. (A journey I hope we can take on together.) I can write about 1,200-2,000 words per hour. Although, at the moment I do barely 1,000 because I still have to fight my internal self.  After 10 years, though I should be somewhere around 22,0000,000 words!

10,000 hours is nothing!
Don’t be afraid ten thousand hours is a not a lot of time; most of my friends wasted x2 that time in World of Warcraft! That’s the time that it would take them to become a professional writer…

Talent redefined.
This discovery changed the definition of talent for me because it basically proves that the only thing that separates amateurs from professionals is the amount of time they spend practicing. Thus, if there is something you really like and want to be really really good at, all you need to do is spend 10,000 hours practicing.

Experience redefined.
What many of us consider experience might not be nearly enough in today’s world because, the competition has never been greater.

Put it all together.

If you want to be a professional writer but you are not spending at least 3 hours a day writing then you need to start working your way up to it ASAP. If you start today then in 10 years you will have a really really good chance of becoming a published author. If you are facing resistance then work on changing your habits. Weight what is important to you today and ten years from now. Reward yourself after successfully spending 3 hours on writing every day.

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