Immerse yourself in writing for 10,000 hours

Most of us will agree that to get better at something, practice is necessary. To become a world-class master at something, however, requires an enormous amount of practice; indeed, journalist Malcom Gladwell in his book “Outliers” proposed the 10,000-hour rule.

In anecdotal examinations of Canada’s top hockey players, businessmen like Bill Gates, and musicians like the Beatles, Gladwell found that the key to their success was a matter of practicing a task for about 10,000 hours.

Translate that to how you might become a top-notch writer. It requires a daily commitment to writing. This doesn’t mean 10,000 hours of talking about writing or thinking about writing or reading good writing (though all of that helps) but 10,000 hours of actual writing.

This daily commitment must continue over a lengthy period of time. If you spent eight hours a day doing nothing but writing, you would need to spend 1250 consecutive days or nearly 3.5 years, to master writing. Four hours a day of writing equals nearly 7 years. If you wrote only an hour a day, you would need 27 years to get to 10,000 hours.

Of course, 10,000 hours is an average. On the down side, you may need more practice time. On the up side, you may require fewer. In addition, you’ve already been writing for some time, so you’ve already started chipping away at the 10,000 hours.

Regardless, the lesson to be taken away here is that if you want to be a top-notch writer, you must commit yourself daily to actually writing. So…what will you write about today?


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.