“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
Aha! Perhaps this is where researchers came upon their theory of the 10,000 hours to success! (“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours.” (from Malcolm Gladwell’s highly acclaimed book, Outliers: The Story of Success). I can’t attest to this figure on a personal level because I have not yet spent 10,000 hours on any ONE thing…I have so many passions and so many interests – which presents the issue of being spread a little… thin. But in truth, I would like to say that these various passions that I have dabbled in over the years, have allowed me to enjoy my life more, have fed me and added depth and complexity and enormous joy – as well as giving me a wide breadth of topics and interests that I can talk about with whomever cares to talk about them:)
BUT…(is there always a but!) the sacrifice is, of course, this – I’m a “jack-of-all-trades, and master of none.” And I would very much like to be a master of at least one. So, I’ve recently decided I will step up to the plate and start climbing this mountain of hours in pursuit of becoming the best possible writer I can be. Over the next couple days, I will come up with a schedule that I will do my very best to maintain over the course of this experiment…though it’s really much more than an experiment – it is a commitment, a dedication, an intention, a life path. Once I begin, I will post weekly on my progress – and talk about the process, the highs/lows/insights/etc…and share bits of my work.
I encourage YOU to join me. Together, we can offer each other community, support, encouragement, share our experiences…and keep each other going. :)
In order to deepen the commitment on my end, and to see this process through to the finish (a writer writes, and then sends their work out into the world!) this is how I will construct this journey for maximum benefit. I will dare myself to Fail. I do not mean fail in terms of gathering my hours, nor fail in terms of deepening my practice – but fail in terms of pushing myself to submit, submit, submit…even if I’m certain the answer will be no, or worse yet – I hear nothing at all. Fear stops me, has stopped me, for far too long: “This story isn’t good enough to submit yet.” “Nobody knows my name, why would they publish me?” “I don’t have enough credits to my name” etc, etc,. Perhaps you know this inner voice/critic too? :) Perhaps this inner voice/critic stops you also, from Daring :) Well I’ve been on close terms with this voice for FAR TOO LONG and it’s time to put it to bed. By Daring myself to FAIL – I’ve got nothing to lose. I can, and WILL, laugh at that damn voice! ha ha:) And it will feel mighty liberating, and empowering. My focus, my purpose, will be on strengthening my craft, and not allowing anything I write to lay prisoner in my drawer, or on my desktop. Any story, poem, essay, or novel that I finish, I will submit to as many publications as I can. Period. And you out there – you will do the same. (whatever that means for the Mastery you are Building)
It has mattered to me more what people might think, than what I think about myself. And that is a life zapper – an artistic life’s guillotine. So – I aim to join the ranks of wonderment, to discover what Thomas Edison discovered – the 10,000 ways that don’t work…because after that – there lies a pot of gold.