“The rule says that in order for an individual to master any complex skill, be it brain surgery or playing the cello, she must put in 10,000 hours of focused practice. […] But what exactly are we learning when we’re beating our brains out all those years? … What these masters were learning was to speak in their own voice. They were learning to act as themselves. In my opinion, this is the hardest thing in the world.” Steven Pressfield
10,000 – 1 = 9,999 hours to be a Sailing Master
Sailing skills I am starting at a point of zero. The fact that I do know that port is left gives me an inch forward on the starting line. Lets be generous and give my sailing skills an hour of focused practice.
I should be terrified, utterly, completely scared witless.
I just don’t have time to be worried about my current lack. I am presuming (no doubt sailors in the know are laughing at this point) the only way to start a 10,000 hour journey is one hour at a time.
Bonus I’m already one hour in credit!
10,000 hours to speak with your own voice
When I read this thought, it was like being given a smack with a wet fish. Wack!
All these years of marriage, parenting, sister, daughter, friend and being in the workforce acquiring new skills are all secondary to real purpose of my being. Finding my voice.
May the real me step forward and speak please.
How do you find your voice? (This a particularly important thought as I have begun this written journey)
I believe that to speak in your own voice, first you have to let go.
You have to let go of the voices of others but most important, you need to let go of the voice inside your own head. That voice of expectation, of acting how you think you should and following the formulas laid out long ago by others, the voice that doubts, second guesses and is quick to criticise and be horrified.
The voice of excruciating self consciousness.
I am not excluded from the self consciousness, and following the 10,000 hours rule as a writer, I have a hell of a lot of writing to go before I master. I reckon I’m about 500 hours down so that leaves me 9,500 hours of focused practice before I can call myself a writer.
So reader don’t run now, hang in there – by the time we get there it will be worth it.
Plus in my favour I am learning my craft as someone who has a pretty good idea of my voice. Unlike the me that was a 20 year old, I now know what you think of me is actually none of my business and this knowledge sets me free.
My written journey, my sailing journey are all part of shedding old ways and trying to authentically live an honest life, a life that is of value to others as it is most valued by me first.