I’ve been reading two books this week: Outliers–the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell and Writing for the Soul by Jerry B Jenkins.

I’m glad I read the two books together, because they complement each other. Seems like an odd combination.

I actually didn’t “read” Outliers–I listened to it on CD to and from work. Otherwise, I would have only gotten through one of the books.

I wanted to read Outliers after hearing others talk about the 10,000 hour rule.  People who have obtained greatness have spent 10,000 plus hours on their passion–whatever it is–music, math, law, technology.

To achieve 10,000 hours in a pursuit, you would need to spend 3 hours a day for ten years on that endeavor.

For Jerry Jenkins, it was writing. I don’t know how many hours he wrote prior to achieving his fame from the Left Behind Series (70 million copies sold), but it was a lot. He made it a rule to not bring home work from the office(which was writing) and not write until the kids went to bed. So he wrote his freelance work between 9 PM and 12 AM —3 hours. He started writing for the local newspaper while in high school and he is in his late fifties now. He has put far more than 10,000 hours in writing. And, I would say, he’s achieved some measure of success (that’s putting it mildly).

Anyway, I’ve not written anywhere close to the required 10,000 hours. I need to start a log of writing related activities–learning the craft, reading, writing, going to writers conferences.

So, it shouldn’t have been any surprise that I would have something to learn from Mr. Jenkins’ critique of the first couple of pages of my book, Eve’s Apple.

There are other factors that contribute to success: your culture, the time frame and opportunity. The only variable we truly have control over is the time–how we use it is up to us.