Did you know that Charles Bukowski published over fifty books of prose and poetry in the 74 years he was alive? It’s particularly impressive when you consider the fact that he was also a raging alcoholic! How was he so prolific? Was he just naturally talented?
English-Canadian journalist and bestselling author Malcom Gladwell would say no. Gladwell is the author of “Outliers” which conveys the theory that anyone can do anything given enough time. How much time? Apparently 10,000 hours is enough to become a master in any given field. That means that if you spent three hours a day, practicing guitar seven days a week, you would be a virtuoso in 9 years!
Bukowski was great at writing poetry because he wrote poetry every day! You can be great too but you don’t have to practice 3 hours a day to do it.
My biggest musical weakness is that I cannot sight read on the piano very efficiently. Ok, I’m terrible at it. So I’ve decided that I will sight read every day in 2014! If I can even come close there is just no way I won’t get better at it, right? Would you like to join my pact? Here are some tips to help –
1. Scheduling – If you’re trying to do something everyday, you have to schedule it. For me that means starting everyday with practice but for you that might mean every night or at lunch. Whenever you’ll get it done.
2. Make it Reasonable – Consistency is so much more important than quantity. Practicing for any amount of time every day is a huge win. I’m only doing it for 30 minutes a day (I even set a timer to ensure that I stay focused). If you decide to practice for too long each time it becomes a very daunting task and you’re likely to fall off sooner. Everyone can find 30 minutes!
3. Accountability – It can be hard to keep a promise to yourself if no one else even knows about it. That’s why I’m inviting you to join my pact! We will practice everyday this year!