Part 1 – His Trivia Question
Meet Malcolm Gladwell. He wrote a book that repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule.” Which title is it?
The Tipping Point David and Goliath
Here are a few more clues. The book debuted on the bestseller list for both The New York Times and The Globe and Mail (from Canada). It was #1 for 11 consecutive weeks on the New York Times. It was published by Little, Brown and Company on November 18, 2008. It’s all about the factors that lead to BIG successes.
And the answer is . . .
I read this book in 2008 or 2009. That was almost 13 years ago, and I still remember the “10,000-Hour Rule. I was impressed by how it applied to so many famous people. It makes sense. The theory is that to acquire any skill with expertise involves practice. It’s true – ‘Practice makes perfect.’
I was surprised to discover that the authors of the original study that Malcom based the book on, disputed the way he wrote it. I was a newbie at writing back then. It made sense that I needed to invest time in writing, and taking classes about writing, if I wanted to be successful.
More Info: en.wikipedia.org
I’m sorry I don’t have the source. Somehow I forgot to copy it, but it was either quizclub.com or traveltrivia.com. I love their questions. I tried to look it up, but couldn’t find it. Shucks!
Part 2 – Four Reasons Why I Believe in the 10,000-Hour Rule
I remembered the first 3, but the fourth surprised me!
1. The Beatles – This picture is from 1964. Start on the top left and go clockwise: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison.
Here’s how they hit 10, 000 hours . . . They performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1200 times from 1960 to 1964. Practice makes perfect, and they performed 2 or 3 sets a night onstage to live audiences. When the Beatles arrived in Hamburg, they had talent, but all those hours helped them perfect their sound. They returned to England with their own unique style. They took off! If you look at old videos from 1964, you’ll see girls screaming, sobbing, and going crazy over them. The Beatles became The Fab Four, international superstars.
2. Bill Gates – Meet Bill back in 1970. He’s on the right, looking up. The 2nd picture is from 2018.
Bill started work on his 10,000 hours at age 13. That was in 1968, at Lakeside Prep School. He also wrote his first computer program that year. I read somewhere, that he used to sneak into the school computer lab at night to write programs. Bill graduated in 1973 and moved onto Harvard the next fall. He dropped out 2 years later in 1975 to start Microsoft. The rest is history! Bill became the head of the Microsoft empire.
3. Hockey Players in Canada – Would you believe that most players are born in January, February, and March? I didn’t!
The cut-off date to play is January 1st, and kids with those winter birthdays are at an advantage in age, experience, and size. I couldn’t believe a kid born in April would be out of luck, let alone later in the year! This winter advantage is also true in other countries with similar deadlines like the Czech Republic. Kids born later in the year get overlooked. Wow, that doesn’t seem possible, but it is.
4. Summer Vacation – I’d forgotten this one, but my Outliers research found a paragraph that said learning lost each summer was the same for low-, middle-, and upper-class kids in elementary school. So why do some kids have an advantage over others, come September?
Upper- and middle-class parents tend to keep their kids busy with lessons and classes all summer. Their kids have opportunities for summer camps or vacation experiences the others don’t get. The kids who don’t get those opportunities forget, and those losses add up summer after summer.
Teachers know this – Year after year I could tell which students read over the summer. They had a head start on the school year. The kids who hadn’t, it took a couple weeks to a month to regain their learning mojo.
Part 3 – Me and Meeting That 10,000-Hour Rule - I started writing in 2007, and I read Malcolm’s book in 2008/ 2009. Here’s my writing timeline. I never counted hours, but it took about 10 years before I started seeing signs of success.
2007 – 2009 . . . I wrote my first story. I edited it as far as I could with my teacher friends.
2009 . . . I took that story to Chautauqua for a week of classes and critiques. My story was good, but needed lots of work. Of course!
2009 – 2010 . . . I read. I looked for my top 10 picture/ chapter books. They became my teachers. I wrote my 2nd bat story. I started reading new books and recording my thoughts in a reading journal.
2011 . . . I took my 2nd bat story to an SCBWI conference (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). I did classes and a critique. I was only ‘flat.’ I found my 1st critique group, started my ant story, and took it SCBWI again. This time I got fine-tune/finish.
2012 – 2015 . . . I worked on my ant story and kept reading and taking classes. I lost my critique group, but found a new mentor. I wrote a new dog story, but only wrote on weekends and vacations. I retired from teaching in May 2015. I became a full-time writer.
2016 – 2017 . . . I took two classes with Michelle Houts. I worked on my dog story in the 1st one. I wrote a new story on safety for the 2nd. I continued working on the dog story and going to classes. I also joined 12x12 and Kidlit411. I took the safety story to Highlights for a critique/class with Darcy Pattison. I thought my words weren’t strong enough. Turns out they were too strong, too scary for my young audience.
April/May 2018 . . . I took a class with Mira Reisberg and the Children’s Book Academy to work on the Safety and Dog stories. That’s when I came up with the idea of writing a book about Neil Armstrong and his wind tunnel.
Summer 2018 . . . I started researching and writing about Neil. I got my FIRST R&R from an agent for my safety story. R&R stands for Revise and Resubmit. I’d done it! That was the 1st sign of success. The 1st sign I was close to meeting that 10,000-Hour Rule.
Fall 2018/Winter 2019 . . . I started working with Callie Metler and her Writing Magic classes to critique Neil and Safety. I wrote a new one about the ducks at the dock. I continued reading and taking classes.
May 2019 . . . PUBLISHED! I published my 1st book NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM in time for the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing. The book did phenomenally well!
June 2019 . . . I started working on LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME. I got a no from the publisher on the safety story, but a maybe for later. I kept working at my craft, and on these three manuscripts.
May 2020 . . . Published! I published LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME. I also received word that the publisher is still interested in my safety book.
Summer 2020 . . . I spent most of the summer on the ants, editing and revising through chapter 27. I started a new Nativity story, hoping to self-publish it in my hometown and beyond.
September 2020 . . . I was hard at work on 2 stories, the Nativity story and a new one about the zoo. BiblioKid and I were working on a contract to write a new lake book, a chapter book.
October 2020 . . . The agent said she was interested! But first – I’d have to polish 4 manuscripts by Feb. 2020. Meanwhile I was editing Zoe and working on the zoo book.
November/December 2020 . . . I finished editing the text for Zoe. We started/finished the illustrations. I worked on all 4 stories for the agent challenge, but focused on safety and ducks. I also started research for a new book about the zoo. My plan – to take Zoe and her family to the zoo.
January thru April 2021 . . . The zoo book got pushed to the back burner after I wrote my 1st chapter. It’s stored in my computer for later. PUBLISHED! I published ZOE’S SCAVENGER HUNT FUN in March of 2021. The ducks, dog, and Nativity stories are still in progress, but safety is polished! I pulled the ants out for another round of editing. I’m on chapter 5, only 25 more to go. It’s a good thing I love revision!
It took me 2-1/2 nights to finish this blog, but I made 2 discoveries. In 2007 I worked on 1 book at a time. Now I can juggle 6. I’ve come a long way, but I have so much farther to go. I finally finished this post tonight, and I made another discovery . . . screenshots are easier to add to Weebly than lots of tiny images. LIVE and LEARN!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!