As I stated in my previous blog How Did I Become A Better writer? it takes at least 10,000 hours to perfect a craft. You can’t become a professional overnight. Take a look at some of the greatest professional athletes of all time (think of #MuhammadAli, #SerenaWilliams and #MichaelJordan) and how much time goes into practice.
They’re out there practicing for 4-5 hours minimum, every single day and this is not including the time they spend at the gym. The amount of time you spend on perfecting your craft will make you undefeated and the best. But you have to remember two things: Never give up and keep on practicing!
If you want to be great at something, maybe be the greatest baker on the east coast or be the greatest musician that’s ever lived, or the greatest #author, you’ve got to put in your time. You can’t put in 5 hours towards your craft in a week and expect to see results. That's setting high expectations with guaranteed low results (think of #business supply and demand). You have NO EXCUSES as to why you can’t set aside time to work on your craft. And this goes to everyone, who are trying to become phenomenal in their field.
I’ve seen a lot of great people, such as #GaryVaynerchuk break down 24 hours in a day to make people realize that there is time in your day where you can work on your craft. It’s what you do with your time is the most important thing in the end.
Let's say you sleep for 8 hours, getting ready for work takes you 1 hour, commuting back and forth takes you 1 hour (give or take), 9 hours on the job, eating dinner (prep or dine out), 1 hour, spending time with family, 2 hours, 1 hour at the gym, which leaves you with 1 hour in your day to put towards your craft in the weekday. Some of you may have more time depending on if you work full time, or part time. The time allocated towards commute, sleep, and time with family can both be increased or decreased, depending on your situation. Regardless, you can still carve out 1 hour out of your day and put towards your craft. Don't forget about Saturday and Sunday, if those are your off days from your job, where you have an extra 9 hours. So you have absolutely NO EXCUSES.
Even after loads of rejections, and putting all the time I have into my craft and not seeing immediate results, my motivation to keep on going is the burning desire that I know what I’m creating will blow people’s minds. Knowing that I’ve created a story that is making readers want to read the second #book…that is what pushes me to keep #writing.
Don’t get me wrong, when I submitted my first draft to my editor, she sent it back to me with my manuscript cut down to half of with what I started with. It was discouraging to say the least, but thankfully my editor, who is also a people person, encouraged me to keep working on the story. I spent another 2 years working on the script before turning it again to her and all the work in improving my craft, paid off!
Here are some helpful tips from one writer to another:
1. Learn from the pros
2. Study your favorite authors. Every writer has a way of delivering their story. The way they describe a place or emotion or a character’s physical appearance are all good things to pay attention to when you study other author’s work.
3. Read a lot (you can’t be a great writer if you don’t read).
4. Write and rewrite, over and over. Over time, you’ll start to see the “fluff” in your writing and you’ll immediately want to get rid of it and laugh at yourself for having it there in the first place.
5. Give your material to a trusted source to review for feedback. This one is hard because as a writer, you’re naturally more cautious about your work. You don’t want to be judged for what or how you write. So, give your material to someone who has feelings and at the same time will give you constructive criticism. And make sure they love to read as well.
With anything that you do, you have to practice over and over again. You will get tired and want to give up because you aren’t seeing results. You have to remind yourself that you have to keep going if you want to be phenomenal.
I believe that if you’re truly in love with what you’re doing, all the time and effort that you spend on becoming better, won’t matter to you. Time at that point no longer plays a vital role as much as having the desire to the greatest in your field. Just remember, keep on practicing and never give up!