Friday, October 16, 2009

Mastering the Craft

Just sharing a writing link I came across this morning. It's author Mary Demuth, guest poster on publisher Michael Hyatt's blog, with some wise thoughts on What It Takes To Become A Master Writer.

From the post:
A study orchestrated by K. Anders Ericsson who looked at musical prodigies found the common denominator for mastery and success: 10,000 hours of practice. “The emerging picture from such studies,” says neurologist Daniel Levitin, “is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world class expert—in anything.”

It'll take five minutes to read. I hope all writers will.


  1. This is, without a doubt, one of the best articles I've ever read about writing and the lengthy process of learning the craft. Not for the fainthearted:)

  2. Laura,

    No indeed. I think every aspiring writer (and those of us who've been at it awhile) should read it.

    I'm sure in nearly twenty years I've put in my 10,000 hours. Funny though, I don't feel like a master. Still a student. I hope I always will be.

    Just caught your interview at

  3. Well I have still to climb the mountain and clock up the hours. I am having fun doing it though.
    A very interesting article.

  4. That's a great article. It's very true. You have to write. So many people want to write without the discipline, but if you've read the article on my blog about it, you know I'm a big believer in writing as a discipline. If I want it to be my job I have to treat it as such.

    And the experience that I've gained from finishing a manuscript and sending it to a publisher has been more valuable than all my years (three :-) of college. And less expensive. :-)

    And we have to be able to take critique. Not a Stephen King fan, but he had a point when he said 'nothing we write is sacred.' It can all be changed, and it's okay.


  5. Hi Gynnis. Good to see you. Keep climbing that mountain. It's worth it. The views keep getting better.

  6. Maisey,

    You've got a great work ethic. I so admire you knowing that you have two (soon to be three) little ones AND you have this work ethic. You SO go, girl!

  7. LOL. I've had to learn the fine art of writing with a child in my lap and cartoons on the TV. Before that I used to go to Starbucks in the evening when Haven came home from work.

  8. Lori ~
    A terrific article, loaded with insight. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks, Lori. That was an excellent article. A keeper, and one to share.

  10. Carla & Sallie,

    Glad the article was helpful. I know writing well requires discipline and constant practice, but it sure helps for published writers to say that now and then, just in case I start to think I'm a singular case, and everyone else finds writing easy!