10,000-Hour Rule for Publishing

10,000-Hour Rule: it basically takes 10,000 hours of practice before you’re able to do anything at an “expert” level, which is what you need to be able to do to be successfully published.

~Brent Hartinger

My husband will tell you that apart from my compulsion to spend hours collecting every possible knick-knack in an RPG I also spend too much time reading/writing. No that’s not quite right. I do read a lot and I do write a lot. Unfortunately most of the writing I do is second guessed and deleted.

Usually, this is appropriate. Try as I might, not everything that I dredge up from the sleep-deprived sections of my brain are the high quality stuff you’ll find here. Some of it isn’t even readable. I’ve written entire paragraphs in the dead of night which if you read next morning you’d think I was fresh from a trip to Rl’yeh’s School for People who Hate Grammar and Vowels (RSfPwHGaV).

The difficulty comes from the writing which is less obviously bad or technically english. Being able to distinguish between the writing which actually moves the plot forward, develops characters, or adds tension from the writing which is full of fabulously unnecessary description sometimes requires an extra set of eyes. It’s hard because sometimes my flourishing sentences are just so clever and my early readers hate them.

I take their feedback seriously because they know me and my bad habits. They know that I diffuse tension with humour. It may serve me alright in real life, but in writing it’s distracting. They know that I am prone to procrastination and will put off moving the plot forward so I can crack jokes or make you fall in love with characters. My bad habits in real life, laziness, glibness, alcoholism, etc. sometimes play out in my writing is a happy coincidence, but my friends have learned over time to get me to cut the crap and kill my darlings.

I appreciate these relationships immensely. Otherwise I would have a wildly unpopular, barely legible, overly adverby self-published novel kicking around the interwebs and may never have the desire to try and publish again. I appreciate that they have the good sense to yell at me and tell me to get back to work when I’m putting off rewriting that truly awful ending. I also appreciate the time that they allot me to sit and be anti-social so I can work on my craft.

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