In this post I share the process I use to achieve mastery, show what’s possible in a short time, and how you can do the same!When I originally wrote this post back in August 2015, I still thought of myself as a writer. That was a driving identity for me. I’ve changed so much since that time and spent so many hours exploring other things, I’m hard pressed to attach a label on who I am and what I do.What I can say is that I have a formula of mastery for ANY topic, skill, or knowledge base. It’s not sexy. I wouldn’t say it’s easy – but it is simple.
Becoming a Writing Master
In 2010 I declared to the world that I was a writer. That was my type – writer. In those five years I have grown enormously. Here’s the rundown with my journey in my writing life:
- Learned digital formatting basics
- Learned print-on-demand formatting basics
- Learned blogging basics
- Created writing habits and systems to facilitate project progress
- Improved editing and writing skills
- Mastered photo-editing software
- Improved graphic creation skills
- Improved cover design skills
- Made a practice to read several articles daily on writing, publishing, marketing, and best business practices
- Published seven novels, with one on preorder that will be available for purchase at the end of September
- Completed a fantasy series
- Published some before my books were ready
- Went back and revamped first editions into more polished second editions
- Published resources for fun
- Made mistakes in every step of the process
- Adjusted and incorporated feedback from various sources
- Taught speech and writing
- Began speaking career related to writing
- Developed press and media kits for books and appearances
By The Numbers
Malcolm Gladwell states that 10,000 hours of practice is required in order to become a master in something. I spent about 5 hours daily working on my craft, and just as many more thinking about it. On the low end, for the past 5 years I’ve spent approximately 7,800 hours on writing and publishing. That does not include all the writing I did for my undergraduate and graduate work years before, or the writing I did as part of job responsibilities, or the blogging I did before 2010. If I give a high estimate for the amount of time spent in the last 5 years, I spent 10,920 hours. By Gladwell standards, any way I look at it, I’m a master.I read recently that if a person reads 1 hour daily in their chosen field for 7 years, they will become an international expert in that field. I read about 1.5 to 2 hours daily in my industry. That means, by conservative estimates, I’ve spent approximately 2,730 hours reading about writing and publishing in the past 5 years. If I spent 1 hour for 7 years, I would have read only 2,548 hours. If that figure was accurate, I’m officially an international expert in the field of independent publishing.In 5 years I became a master writer and international expert on writing and independent publishing. Do I have more to learn? Of course. There’s always more to learn. There’s always room for improvement. That said, I was in the club. I became a card carrying member.All this is to say, anyone can do this. Anyone could make the choice to devote this time to mastery and expertise. It is translatable to any field. Declare your intention and your next step will become clear. I know this because I did it.
Setting the Intention to Become An Expert
I’ve talked about setting intentions in a variety of posts on this blog (for intentional creating see this post here – for annual intentions see this post), but there are a few specific things you need to do in order to become an expert:
- You need to have strong motivation. If you don’t love whatever it is – if you don’t have a powerful why, you won’t stick to your intention and follow through on it.
- You need a vision for what your expertise will bring you. This vision will help cement your discipline and motivation.
- You need to love the process. Something about the process of becoming master should spark joy in you.
- Routine helps streamline the experience. Have things you do everyday in order to keep you working on your intentions. Having a routine helps build your intention into your life and keep it there.
- You need accountability to keep yourself honest – either through mentors or community.
When the “Why” Isn’t Clear
Finding your purpose or your why for becoming an expert can be quite a journey. If there isn’t something that sticks out at you, I really recommend trying some of the following:
- Spend some time making lists of things that spark joy or get you excited. Look for patterns.
- Meditate – it is one of the things I recommend the MOST as part of a daily practice for positive life change.
- Connect with a group of people who share similar interests – even if you’re not sure that’s a “why” talking with them can help you drill down.
- Take some classes.
- Work with an intuitive – seriously. There’s nothing like spiritual guidance. They have things on lock!
- Get a coach. They have an arsenal of tools, tricks, and strategies to help you overcome obstacles and gain clarity.
There is no reason you cannot become an expert. There is no reason you cannot master a skill or knowledge set. All you need to do is decide and take action. It’s not easy, but it is simple. It’s something people have been doing since the first person. Why not you? Why not now?
- Between Chaos and Order: The Need For A Middle Way - June 18, 2018
- Spiritual Mamas: Intuition, Spirituality, and Motherhood - June 4, 2018
- Neither Selfish or Selfless – Only Loving! - April 30, 2018