Back in the days when I thought my time was limitless, and my skillset was better suited for athletics, I was a fanatical practicer. Whether it was grounders in baseball, wrist shots in hockey, or passing drills in soccer, I loved the idea of practicing. I’m a firm believer in the Malcolm Gladwell adage, that it takes 10,000 hours of practice in order to become proficient at a certain task.
Malcolm’s words are quite wise…but misguided.
No amount of practice was going to make me a better defensive shortstop than Ozzie Smith. For that matter, I wasn’t going to be better than the worst player in professional baseball…or any other sport I fancied.
Even as a kid, I was able to glue words together on paper. I continued writing throughout my twenties and thirties.
At fifty-three, I sit at my desk, with creaking bones, twisted fingers, and a body scarred from chasing the wrong 10,000 hours of practice.
I’m not regretting one minute of time spent in other endeavours. In fact, I’m fairly certain that if I’d followed the life of a writer, I’d be dead. I would have done my damndest to “Out-Hemingway Hemingway”.
I started this quest in 2K7, and I’m reading, practicing, and trying to hone “The Craft”.
I’m not claiming to be good…I have quite a bit to learn. I am also defining my writing style and not pulling on the strings of another.
You might see some Lovecraft, Poe, or King woven in there…but that’s just me practicing.
I don’t know how many hours I have invested. I have a ways to go…
Practice is hard.