Butt in Chair! Put in the Hours!

Jane Yolen’s famous quote about writing is “BIC = Butt in Chair!” The point being you must put in the hours, sit in front of the computer and WRITE! You can talk all you want about writing, dream about it, read about it, etc. but it’s not until your butt spends some serious time in the chair that you will really become a writer. Bouncing off that idea, I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. In it, he says that to become a master of your craft you have to put in 10,000 hours. Bill Gates didn’t become the inventor of Microsoft without putting in hours and hours and hours of programming experience under his belt first.

But how many hours IS 10,000 hours? I mean how long will that take? Great question! I decided to break it down…

It takes 10,000 hours to become a master of your craft. That will take…

1 hour a day = 7 hours a week = 27 years

2 hours a day = 14 hours a week = 13 1/2 years

3 hours a day = 21 hours a week = 9 years

4 hours a day = 28 hours a week = 7 years

5 hours a day = 35 hours a week = 5 1/2 years

6 hours a day = 42 hours a week = 4 1/2 years

7 hours a day = 49 hours a week = 4 years

8 hours a day = 56 hours a week = 3 1/2 years

(These numbers have been rounded up or down for simplicity).

The point is that mastering your craft is possible! But it is also relative to the amount of hours you spend with your butt in the chair doing the work! Becoming an Outlier (a huge success like Bill Gates) has a lot to do with luck, but it will never happen if you haven’t put in the hours first so that you are ready when the opportunity strikes!

Are you crazy motivated to get writing! I hope so!