Monday, June 23, 2014

10,000 Hours

Write often.

Write in short fragmentary bursts.

You will never starve.

Read like mad.

I was once chastised by someone I was dating (if you even want to call it that) for not putting enough energy and time and effort into my passion - my writing. He had read somewhere, and I'd heard the theory before, that to be good at something, to make it a career or reach some sort of fulfillment then one must dedicate at least 10,000 hours into whatever it is they want to perfect.

10,000 hours.

That's roughly 5.47 hours per day over the span of five years - if you'd like to be ambitious and a real go-getter.  A little over 2 hours a day if you want to work at that "thing" over the course of ten years.  And so forth and so on.  I was in college for a little over 8 years.  Combining the time spent in class and the time spent studying, you could say I put 10,000 hours into becoming a really good student, a professional you might say.  If you don't believe me, I've got the diploma and the debt to prove it.

I have also worked in the restaurant industry in some shape or form for the past 12 years - ever since I was fifteen-years-old.  And considering it a rarity that I ended up working less than 40 hours a week, the total amount of time, roughly, that I've spent perfecting those skills is somewhere in the neighborhood of 24,000 hours.  Should I be surprised that I am now beginning to manage one?  And yes, I've had some very serious crises about the fact that I am not sitting in some dusty office somewhere with all the time and inspiration and support and resources in the world to allow me to joyfully (or insufferably) toil away with my pen and paper or typewriter or laptop.  I never thought that I would still be doing this for THIS  long.  Never in a million billion jillion years.  But I am.  And it's paying the bills (mostly).  And it is, truly, allowing me enough time to write.

There is no real point to this post except to remind myself how to use my fingers to type words down and through these keys.  To not consider today a total waste.  To keep my mind moving.  And if nothing else, to put in a little bit more time towards those elusive 10,000 hours.

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