It’s Autumn. My garden is still green – mostly – but there’s not much new growth. This miracle garden is cleverly set up so that, once spring hits, there’s something new emerging as soon as something peaks in color. All I have to do is keep the whole thing from dying and I get to enjoy it.
But now it’s time to weed. It’s time to prep for the coming cold. I’m sad that we never put in vegetables, but other than that, it’s been a verdant season. It’s been 2/3 of a year of growth.
I wrote a blog posting last night telling of an experience researching an upcoming ghost tour. The point isn’t the subject matter, though. The point is the writing. I wrote the story and enjoyed writing the story. I didn’t have to psych myself up to do it or create weird deadlines. As soon as it occurred to me to write it, I did.
At the beginning of the year, writing was a choice. I’d been writing already, but it took this blog to force the discipline. The design of this garden is a choice. It took Faith (which is actually the name of the master gardener who created this garden) planting and nurturing it over 10 years and then me choosing to embrace it when we bought the house from her a couple years ago.
There comes a point when some choices take on aspects of inevitability. I think that Autumn is the perfect time to think about that. What choices has the year germinated that have grown into inevitabilities? September 23rd is the 266th day of the year. That’s 6,384 hours – close to 2/3’rds of the 10,000 hours needed to create an expertise in something. By the end of the year, we will have 8,760 hours in on something. That smacks of the onset of inevitability. Keep it going for 52 more days — for less than 2 months more — and you will have made it.
What will I be an expert on at the end of February 2011? To what will I have devoted 14 months year? This blog? It’s not 10,000 hours of actual writing. It’s 10,000 hours of having the mindset of being a writer. And, this blog is over after 12-31-10. That’s the point. It’s not 10,000 Hours of Significance – although if I knew then what I know now…
Perhaps What’s Next is a 10,000 hour project.
Susan Scot Fry
Update… I can’t seem to stop thinking about writing. I used to write manuals when I worked for Chemical Waste Management. And I wrote newsletters at Alltrade Tools. I’ve been writing for years. I’ve always been drawn to it, I’ve just never gotten the serious training needed to be good at it.
Now, I get a wee bit better the more frequently I do it, but I wonder what would happen if I took a class…
I remember my earlier writing used to be peppered with insecurities. Not about doing it, in terms of content. You know – overuse of the word “just” and other modifiers. Too many exclamation marks. Anything to soften the content from a potentially offensive tone.