Intentional Practice

I must continue to blog. There was so many flaws to my writing and I know practising will strengthen it.

Two of the most glaring issues I have are verb tenses and word repetition. I dare anyone to read my past work and count the amount of ‘need’, ‘have to’, ‘must’, and ‘own’ I use in two paragraphs.

According to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” 10,000 hours of intentional practice will result in mastery. For the sake of procrastination and lack of a better topic, let’s do some super basic math.

Let’s (be generous) assume it takes 1 hr to produce one post and I try to update my blog 3 times a week.

1hr x 3 = 3 hrs per week in the bank towards becoming a pro.

3 hr x 52 weeks per year = 156 hr per year

10,000 hr for mastery/156 hr per year ~ …64 years

Did I mess up simple multiplication or just made too many assumptions?

Wow I thought taking a logical approach would calm my worries.

I suppose this doesn’t take into account that after gaining a momentum, I may write longer and more frequently. I’ll have to brainstorm a bunch more topics to post. Storylines will need to come at the drop of a hat.

However the easiest(?) way to fulfill my quota and shorten my timeline is to read. Reading helps absorb data, research ideas, see ideas from another’s perspective (ie, Shakespeare’s Rom – well actually all of his work has been done and reworked through a different angle and yet still be refreshing). Books are a great tool.

Oh on that note the book that inspired me to start a blog was this one:

Francine Prose – Reading Like a Writer

In the book she goes over classics and contemporary fiction. The chapters are dedicated aspects of a book and she’ll choose excerpts for examples. So the first chapter is all on word usage and examines a work by, say Kafka, going over the beauty of his word choice and how every noun had the perfect placement. This progresses to sentences, paragraphs, chapters, etc.

Really a great book.

So if I keep reading at the same pace as I write, I could effectively cut my goal time in half. So by the age of 60 I’ll have my great American novel. I suppose that’s better than 91 :/

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