10,000 Hours?

Journalist/Author Michael Gladwell stated in his book called Outliers, a non-fiction about achieving success, that “it takes ten-thousand (10,000) hours to reach a mastery level at something”. The hours are usually contributed to continuous attention (or practice) to an area, starting at young age, Gladwell citing the late programmer Bill Gates and rock band The Beatles. I don’t want to say that it’s completely accurate, the part about “x amount of hours”, but I’d say that part about “exposure” makes sense.

The number 10,000 may just be a metaphor for dedication and practice. Effort, effort, effort, and focus. And with effort comes with a lot of patience.

Sometimes I don’t have patience. I no longer have the advantage of starting early, or as Gladwell states, “start from youth”. Now I feel like I must be very compulsive to make up for lost time because I am not a pre-teen nor a teenager.

Actually, it’s a hard call. I could say that I’ve been drawing and writing “since childhood”, but I think I’m only up to a point where I am very comfortable, enjoy the hobby, and have a better idea on the techniques. However, transition from hobby to professional requires persistence in reality. Now I wonder, is it possible for me to learn quickly thanks to the interest in the past? Do I have the instinct and can fill the gap?

Drawing techniques, from Perspective to Geometry, seem sparse compared to the practice and psychology needed. I don’t think it can be “taught”. Being a novelist does require learning composition, research, and literary devices (ie: parts of speech, parts of sentence, etc), but also the instinct to write characterization, plot, tone, etc.

To me, I think what’s most important is not time, not effort, but “love”. Also, another importance is “making adjustments”.

How to practice?

When I started the article, I’m glad that I checked references — I thought it was 1,000 hours (I wish) and not 10,000, so I imagined myself practicing for five hours a day. At first, that may seem strange and too compulsive. However, small final drawings can take many many hours, and I imagined myself working long hours such as 50 a week.

  • 10000 hours = 466 days roughly
  • 5 hours a day = approx 35 hours a week
  • Approx. 140 hours a month. 1680 a year.

It is pointless to calculate it seems, even more so if the daily hours were reduced. If it took 10,000 hours, going by the upper formula of five hours a day, it’ll take me 6 years approximately to reach the goal. Like I said before, it is a metaphor. However, there may be some truth. It is plausible to find improvement within a year.

Also, you can always improve after the first try. Like my Sketches a Day. Take a look at Mr. Game & Watch (1st, 2nd). Why is this? Because after looking at the character again, I’ve noticed mistakes and took a different approach.

Sketches of LIONET SOUMA


Original Lionet Souma by Umakoshi Yoshihiko. Along with photo from official profile is an anti-article, covering what watchers/fans thought were cons regarding Souma and the omega series. Examples being his overly friendly and self-centered character, and his revenge drama. which actually resurfaces in my story Dawn of End.

So! This is Souma, I think my first one, approximately Summer of last year (2015):

July of 2015.

Sketches later, this is October 2015.

Next week is cars and planes.


4 thoughts on “10,000 Hours?

  1. Pingback: 10,000 PT 2: A year later? #聖闘士星矢 | The Doggie World

  2. Pingback: Doggie’s Sketch a Day: Ginga Experiment | The Doggie World

  3. Pingback: Sketch a Day? 10,000 Hours PT 3: Two years later? #聖闘士星矢 | The Doggie World

  4. Pingback: The answer is in the line | Doggie Stories – Why do I like drawing? #cyberf | The Doggie World

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