Only 5000 More Hours to Go
I'm in the middle of reading Malcolm Gladwell's latest, Outliers. In one section, he suggests that a primary factor separating the truly great from the merely average is number of hours spent practicing one's skill, whether it be a playing a sport or composing music or writing or whatever. He says 10,000 hours seems to be the magic number that most people have spent practicing their skill before they reach greatness.
Okay, I think, I've spent most of my adult life writing, and if it takes me X number of hours to write a book, how many more hours do I need to spend writing before I find my work in college anthologies of great American literature? I did some very rough calculations (because really, I have no solid idea exactly how many hours it takes to write any given book--and do I count the hours spent staring off into space trying to think of my next line, composing email, etc?), and I discovered that I'm maybe halfway there.
Only 5000 more hours to go. Look out Hemingway.