It’s almost as if Mur Lafferty was liste…

It’s almost as if Mur Lafferty was listening to our discussion last night about the difference between wannabe writers and real writers. Today she posted this item about a real writer. And by that I mean “a writer who isn’t deterred from writing every day by cancer and chemotherapy.”

Reflecting on yesterday’s discussion, it occurred to me that someone really should have mentioned Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-Hour Rule (from Outliers, which I believe Ben has read). If you’re not familiar with it, Gladwell proposes that the secret to success in any endeavor is to put in about ten thousand hours of practice. If you do that, you will become excellent in whatever it is that your doing. Persistence = success.

That certainly fits the point I was trying to make about writing, which is that the wannabe writers need to stop dicking around with trivialities like books about writing, writers’ groups, and fancy notebooks or pens . . . and instead just put their butts in chairs and write. Sure, a lot of that writing will be crap, but it all counts toward the ten thousand hours.

But it also means that Mandy was right. If you stick with your piano lessons and practice diligently, you will become a skilled pianist. And it doesn’t actually matter whether you do this because you’re self-motivated or because your parents forced you. All that matters is that you put in those ten thousand hours.

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