In Outliers by Malcom Gladwell at most 10,000 hours are required to be a success in your craft or field. The Beatles did it. Bill Gates did it. Jim Henson did it. Can I do it? I nearly have a Master’s–come on May 2014!–and have been writing regularly since 3rd grade. I estimate that I’ve put in half the time needed to be a success. By that standard I’m just a beginner at writing. Here’s Ira Glass’ stance on beginners: https://wordplay11.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/ira-glass-advice-on-creativity/. Focus by David Goleman says 10,000 hours can’t just be arbitrary here-and-there hours. They have to be quality time, meaning your full concentration and the feedback of an expert is necessary. These two factors means you’re able to develop a feedback loop, which provides the ability to identify and fix mistakes. That’s why I pursue writing at a level that is demanding as a higher education. I don’t want to be a successful amateur writer. I want to be the best. Is it possible to be the best writer? 10,000 hours is a lot of time.
I’m not giving up though. If anything, I’m inspired that half the required hours have already happened naturally or by the demand of the job market. I’m sure that these hours have already occurred for you as well in your day job, odd job, night job, or whatever job it takes to become schooled in life/creativity experience. Instead of being frustrated by the time it takes to achieve greatness, focus on what makes you an outlier. What unique give do you have to ship out for the world to use? Your experiences, according to Elizabeth Stevens in “Finding Success in Creativity“, shouldn’t be the things “that hold you back. They might just be the key to your success.”