Practice Logged: 252 hours + 5 minutes
At this rate it will take me 60 years.
Malcolm Gladwell is famous for a number of reasons, but one of these is his popularization of the ten-thousand hour rule which he referenced in his book Outliers.
The gist of that rule, but perhaps not Gladwell’s interpretation of it, is that the common denomitator between people we consider to be masters, experts, artists, or otherwise having achieved a high level of competency in their field, be that computers or sports or music or solving puzzle cubes, is that they have all had the means to devote approximately ten thousand hours to the effort of learning it.
The common misinterpretation is that anyone can get good at a thing of their choosing just by putting in ten thousand hours effort. Gladwell, and I’ve heard him speak about it on a podcast, insists that the time was more of a correlation than a causal link.
Not that it hurts. It’s just more complicated.
And after all, devoting 8 solid hours per day to an activity, 365 days per year, it would still take roughly 9 years of doing that thing to reach 10,000 hours. For context, most people by middle-age might — MIGHT — have 10000 hours in on a task at their job, assuming they do the same thing repeatedly.
I’m just trying to impress upon readers the scope of this… in a lead up to tell you that my 2017 numbers are in for my violin practice.
Well… they’ve been in for a while. It’s just a spreadsheet, after all, that I use to track all my practice minutes, partly as an effort to make sure I am actually practicing (accountability!) but also partly because one of my many motivations for taking up the violin was to try out the notion of purposeful learning as an adult, and part of that is purposeful recording of the effort.
My total practice time since starting passed fifteen thousand MINUTES at some point in late December, and I clocked ten-thousand of those minutes in 2017. Minutes, I will repeat. Not hours. And as is commonly agreed, a minute is one-sixtieth of an hour. Thus…
At this rate it will take me 60 years… to master the violin. I’m not terrible tho.