Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Negative Criticism Thoughts

At Absolute Write, I shared what I blogged about below on Holly Lisle's post.  In response?  Some interesting comments on negative comments, and how important it is to listen to them.  I won't post about that yet, but I wanted to share that--and read a little more.  Likely, I've come up with my next Wednesday's post, and yes, it will bring in some insights from another Malcolm Gladwell book.

Supernatural -- Its Influences -- And Thoughts on Season 6/7

 Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season

One of the few shows I watch any more is Supernatural.  The other main one is AMC's the Walking Dead--when the hell will they bring it back?  Or did it die?   Anyway, I don't know if I admitted it before, but I'm a Castiel fan.  Heck I'm a Destiel fan:  Love the relationship between Dean and Castiel more than Dean and Sam.  Mostly because it provides a reverse--it was always Dean doing the majority of the caring about Sam, Dean needing Sam, not vice versa.  Then Castiel came, and at some point Cas was pulling a Dean in the relationship boat. 

There were many other things I enjoyed about the whole Castiel thing.  Actor's hot--gotta thing for blue-eyed, black-haired men--the humor is great.  And I liked that Cas could go BAMF when needed.  But still, I loved him best when he interacted with Dean.  It seems like none of the three main characters do well on their own.  This show is about relationships.

Though it hurts, I loved the last few eps of Season 6.  And I had faith that they will restore Castiel to the good guy we love to watch.  Then I read about how mum TPTB are being about the status of Misha Collins (Castiel's actor).  

10,000 hours to Writing Success?

Outliers: The Story of Success 

Does it take 10,000 hours of practice to become a star in the writing world?

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell gives the example of a study done by K. Anders Ericsson and his colleagues at the Academy of Music in Berlin. Violinists were divided in three categories of stars, good, and those destined to just be teachers. And it was discovered that the stars practiced more than everyone else (Gladwell 38). That the "elite performers had each totaled ten thousand hours of practice" (39). The good, eight thousand. The "future music teachers"? Just over four thousand. Basically, Ericcson didn't find any people that were born stars, bypassing this number, nor did he find people who put in the hours but just couldn't cut it. It was hard work that made the difference, and as Gladwell points out, the stars work far harder than anyone else (39). Ten thousand hours, after all, is a lot of hours.

But that is the figure researchers come across time and time again as necessary to excel at performing a complex task like violin performing . . . or fiction writing (Gladwell 40).

To me, that is inspiring, especially with the crushing expectations of today. While TV shows like Undercover Boss push the message you have to be excellent on day one, able to compete against the vetern of ten-plus years, Gladwell's research comes like a breath of fresh . . . realism. It takes hard work and a lot of hands-on experience to be decent and a great deal more to be excellent. We all have to put in the time.

But having a spark of talent, a lot of passion, and some success sure makes it easier to reach that number.

So, the question is, have you done your 10,000 hours yet?

Cite:  Gladwell, Malcom. Outliers: The Story of Success. New York: Back Bay Books, 2008. Print.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Holly Lisle on the End of Publishing -- And Some Good Ideas on How Not To Die -- And Link Craziness

Author Holly Lisle has a blog post up that is definitely worth reading due to its good sense.  I didn't read the article she is responding to yet, but I plan on it.  But some of the good points (and excellent marketing ideas) out of several she makes include

And I especially love this tip:
And finally this one:

I bring up this last point because it ties into a blog post of mine set to appear tomorrow, and I thought this point might make a good introduction to it.  Writing is not for the lazy.  It takes a lot of work to succeed, and a lot more to excel.  How much work?  Well, come back tomorrow and you'll read one person's take on how much. Until then, enjoy the rest of Holly's blog post--and that piece which she is responding to.