I don’t know about you, but I love podcasts. I don’t know when I discovered them …. a few years ago, I think. Now, I listen to them a lot. Usually when I’m travelling, or when I’m out running.

So, it was in a podcast, or perhaps even in a book that I first heard of the 10,000-hour rule. Some say Bill Gates coined the idea. I don’t know, and at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter. So, what is the 10,000-hour rule, and why am I discussing it?

The reasoning behind it is that people who are great at what they do, are 9 times out of 10, not so naturally gifted. Yet, they are phenomenal athletes, businessmen, actors and actresses, musicians, and even authors. So, what gives? Well, they say that people who make it big and become the best at what they do, have all invested a ton of hours into crafting their skills, leading them to success. People like Bill Gates himself, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Vonn, The Beatles, …. the list is literally never-ending.

If you think these people had an easy run to success, you are most certainly wrong. All of them have had their ups and downs. I would bet anything that there were times when they thought they had made it, only to fail, or hit a brick wall. But they persisted. Their “failures” encouraged them to fight on, to get better, to hone their skills further. And that is my message to you. Of course, it is hard to hear the words “no.” Of course, it is hard to not get that contract abroad that you have been dreaming of. But, take it as a positive. Use it to leverage you to becoming a better writer.

Learn from the best. Take a class. Do a course. Read successful works from other authors. Learn why they succeed. Promise yourself to be the best writer you can possibly be. Only in this way will the doors to success open themselves to you all that little more. Oh, and last but not least …. believe in yourself.

Kurt Wilkesmann
Literary agent for foreign markets