Progress – August 13, 2018

For the last few weeks, I’ve been telling myself that “this weekend I’ll get to go upload audio.” Well, this last weekend was when it came true.

When I upload an audiobook, I like to go sit at Starbucks. First off, coffee = yes, please! Second, I don’t often go to Starbucks (I usually go to Barnes & Noble which is a cafe serving Starbucks coffee. It never quite tastes the same. I have yet to have a drink at B&N that tastes exactly like Starbucks — and I prefer the way B&N does it, so double yes please to books and coffee). So a trip to Starbucks is actually a break from my usual routine and and therefore a treat. Thirdly, killer Internet! I can upload the files much faster than anywhere else I’ve found so far.

Now, I just sit back and wait for my files to be approved. Fingers crossed on that one. I’m a little worried. Plus, I didn’t do my final listen through on this book (another worry). After spending 6+ years trying to record this book and trashing so many rotten versions, I just can’t listen it to once more. You know, this book is the whole reason I threw in the towel and bought myself a Whisper Room; I despised the sound I was getting, not to mention having to wake up at 2 a.m. on the weekends to record so I didn’t have noisy neighbors, cars, birds, cat fights, barking dogs, owls, crickets, etc. in the background of my recording. When I had the rain and wind in the middle of the night, plus I was a wreck for several days afterwards from a strange sleep schedule, I decided trying to have my own homemade studio was not what I wanted to do. I wanted it to be quick and simple: a good recording, quick editing, done and released to the world.

Quest for the Three Books audiobook cover small

Yeah, let me tell you, even with the Whisper Room, it’s a journey I’m not sure I’ve ever been prepared for or one that I will ever be successful at. And I feel this way every time I release a new audio. I never feel like it’s good enough. I know there are still flaws in this, which is why I had to let it go. If I went through it again (and I can say this as a fact from where I’ve re-listened to parts of it in trying to find something I wanted to use as a sample), I would ditch all the audio again and re-record it over again. No matter how careful I was when I was going through it, I was always going to hear something that needed fixed. You get the loud clicks out of an audio and all the small ones come jumping back at you.

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Why not to listen to the 10,000 hour rule.

I’ve recently been engaged in a lively discussion about the 10,000 hour rule from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers. I chose to take a stand against this rule because I believe it to be flawed and discouraging. When you willingly play devil’s advocate on a site where you know you’re going to get flamed for your thoughts, it’s interesting to see how your own thoughts develop. Knowing I’d be wasting my time continuing the discussion there, I decided to move my thoughts here where they belong. Maybe I’ll find a few of you playing devil’s advocate against my ideas too! 🙂

I imagine how this is how Seth Godin felt when he challenged Vince Lombardi’s advice that “winners never quit and quitters never win.”

Pick up a copy of Outliers and at least skim the chapter on the 10,000 hour rule. You’ll find real quickly that it’s not a happy chapter. It talks about how child prodigies start young and put in time (it doesn’t say they were willingly doing the time — the choice to do something is a lot different from doing something your parents want you to do!). It also says that the true “greats” are born within a certain period of time and anyone outside of this calendar analysis has missed the boat. To me, that’s really discouraging!

Fortunately, I don’t believe that one must be a child prodigy or be born within a window of opportunity. So come along with me on this journey to debunk the 10,000 hour rule and let’s prove that success comes to those who work for it without counting “billable hours!”