2,000 Hours of Dedicated Practice
I crossed 2,000 hours a few weeks back, though I didn't realize it.
At one thousand hours, I said, basically, that I was a competent writer. The 1,000 hours that I put in had allowed me to do a decent job of describing the world around me and my thoughts about it.
At 2,000 hours, I have a bit bolder statement to make, but I believe it to be true.
I'm better than 90% of all fiction writers.
That isn't the most arrogant thing I've ever written, but that only speaks to my arrogance and not the actual statement.
While I think saying that could ruffle some proverbial feathers, I'm okay with that. Kobe Bryant said recently, discussing he and other greats (Peyton Manning, Federrer, etc.):
"We’re not on this stage just because of talent or ability. We’re up here because of 4 a.m. We’re up here because of two-a-days or five-a-days."
If I'm better than most, it's because of the time I put in. Very little of this has to do with internal talent, but with the fact that I write for hours each day, read for hours each day, and comb through my own work looking for opportunities to get better the way a crack addict will comb through the carpet to see if they dropped any gear they could use.
Perhaps I'm losing my ability to be humble about this, and given that I have another 8,000 hours to go, it might be best to keep quiet.
At the same time, though, if you don't like hearing that I'm most likely better than you, work harder.