the glamorous struggles of an aspiring author...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hey, the egg timer rang! Your 10,000 hours are up!

Hey, the egg timer rang! Your 10,000 hours are up!

So I finished Levitin's The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature and really l liked it so I gamely purchased his first book, This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. It was wonderful. Really. Until I got to the part about 10,000 hours.

"... ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert -- in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is the equivalent to roughly three hours per day, or twenty hours per week, of practice over ten years."

For some reason I became irrationally irritated by this. Particularly since he mentioned "fiction writers" by profession...along with master criminals. Rather an interesting sensation to be grouped with master criminals.


Ms Kitty said...

The advantage of being old(er). I have 10k hours on a couple of things.

Writing is one of them.

Rachel May said...

yeah, my papa told me about that. I can barely log 1 hour a day, when I'm really into a project, what with life and all! So, you and me, we'll just have to truck in at the mere mortal mastery level until we hit the golden standard.

P.S. I'm totally cool with the criminal comparison. Great cocktail party stuff. If I had the moxy I'd rather be a master criminal than a writer :)