Sunday, November 28, 2010

Inspiration: The Best Christmas Gift of All for a Writer

Sharif Khan is a new friend I met on Twitter and later Facebook. I fell in love with this blog post and he graciously agreed to let me reprint it for you. I've loved the reassurance author Malcolm Gladwell has given me with several of his books and Sharif is obviously a fan, too. May Malcolm and Sharif encourage you to continue to be motivated through 2011. And to continue to read. I think that's one of the best ways to stay inspired and learn more about the intricacies of book promotion.

The Secret to Writing Success

By Sharif Khan, Author of Psychology of the Hero Soul

If you’re like me, I get really skeptical when I hear some guru claiming to have a silver bullet to achieving lasting success, be it a magic pill, number, formula, or mantra. However, there is one success formula or ‘magic number’ if you will, that I can wholeheartedly recommend: 10000.
‘10000?’ you ask. Yes, 10000. 10,000 hours to be precise. That’s the magic number for success.
According to Canadian journalist, author, and pop sociologist, Malcolm Gladwell, who has studied the common denominators shared by successful people around the world, you need to invest 10,000 hours practicing your craft to reach a level of professional success.
He goes on to cite examples such as Bill Gates, who practiced 10,000 hours of computer programming since high school before becoming a mega mogul. Even Gladwell asserts that he spent 10,000 hours of practice at The American Spectator and Washington Post, putting in about 20 hours work a week for a period of 10 years before becoming a successful author.
I decided to validate this theory in my hometown of Toronto by asking Aurora Award-Winning Science Fiction author, Karl Schroeder about Gladwell’s “10,000-Hour Rule” at a short story workshop he was hosting. He admitted, yes, that was about the time it took for him to reach professional success in his field as a sci-fi writer.

If you were to spend just 2 hours a day practicing your craft (writing, editing, polishing, rewriting), you’d reach a professional level of success in your field in about 14 years. Given the fact that (according to Nielsen Media Research) the average American spends 5 hours a day watching television, investing 2 hours a day in your dream vocation should not be all that difficult to do.
Now, if you were to push yourself and simply work an additional hour a day (that’s 3 hours a day) notice what a difference your minimal effort would make over time. 3 hours a day would get you to your 10,000 hour mark in about 9 years. Subtract 9 years from 14 years and you would save yourself 5 years of wasted time working on stuff that you either detested or were not fully passionate about to begin with!
I think you see where I’m going with this. It takes a decade or more to become an overnight success. Put in your 10,000 hours of practice. Start now, thank me later.
~Sharif Khan ( ; ) is a freelance writer, essayist, and author of Psychology of the Hero Soul, an inspirational leadership book on awakening the hero within. He lives in Toronto where he is working on his first novel.

 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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