Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tip O'Day #241 - Can You Handle 10,000 Hours?

Guest blogger Tim Greaton reminds us that writers write.

Many famous authors are credited with having said, “Writer’s write…” and that is the truth of it. To sit down and begin a journey of words is the very heart of our craft. Talking about writing, thinking about writing, or even planning a writing project have little to do with the actual process of stringing words in a progression that is hoped to entertain or enlighten a reader. The late Jack Bickham used to say that the most important quality in any writer is the ability to sit down and refuse to get up until a certain number of words have been written. Ernest Hemmingway said, and I may be paraphrasing, “Write as well as you can and finish what you start.”

Clearly the message comes back to, “Writers write.” I recently saw a documentary suggesting that most successful athletes and musicians in our world today have achieved such great heights because they have practiced their chosen professions more than any of their peers, usually for a minimum of ten thousand hours. I believe that. It is also my belief that writers who strive to pass that same ten thousand-hour litmus test will ultimately find themselves among the finest writers of their generation. So I encourage anyone with a dream of making a dent in the literary world to…pull up a chair, grab your proverbial pen and simply begin.

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