I first read on Tribal Writer about the book “How to be a Highschool Superstar” by Cal Newport but she also introduced me to deliberate practice and having depth. It has taken me a year to really understand these things.
I subscribed to Cal’s blog Study Hacks (don’t you love how you can link to blogs you read, and use first names as if you were a close personal friend). His latest post was about sticking to your big ambition, but not chasing your big idea.
In my experience, students have been taught to place way too much importance on having the courage to follow their passions and change the world, and not nearly enough importance on having the persistence to first build the needed ability to both find concrete projects that matter and accomplish them.
I just pondered this idea in an email where a friend and I were discussing following your hobby to a job and the 10 years/10,000 hour rule. And I finally understand what Mr. Newport was saying, you have to pay your dues and learn the ropes and become good at something, one thing. You have to acquire depth in a given area and then you can have anything you want.
Kristen Lamb teaches writers to stop blogging about themselves or about writing
. She has great information about how to pay your dues as a writer and build your audience. Few authors get to snap their fingers and get a top agent, great first contract and have their book take off on the best seller lists everywhere. It’s a slow progression.
Everyone has to pay their dues with
hardwork and time. I dont’ mean spending 18 hours a day on Twitter, I mean just slogging it day after day. No one rose from mail room to CEO in a day, nor did anyone start out making $1000 an hour for coaching fees. We all have to apprentice. Too many people, myself included, jump around from idea to idea and wind up spinning our wheels and never achieving anything.
I’m paying my dues. Are you paying your dues or you still expect success to magically occur?