What Are The 1000 Hours of Writing? And The First 20 Hours

What are the 1000 Hours?

In short: You time exactly 1000 hours of doing something. In my case: 1000 hours of writing. In the case of my friend 1000 hours of art. Maybe it'll be 1000 hours of jogging, reading, baking cakes, eating cakes, writing essays, tinkering on cars, building little Spitfire models ... the options are endless! 

Why would you want to do something like that? you may ask. There are many reasons: you might be curious of how much time you spend doing something, fun, but also as motivation to make sure that you keep at a certain thing. 


The humble beginnings: 

Lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, when I suddenly heard the familiar sound of the Skype notification. My mind was still with the story I planned, so I simply decided to check what it was.
It was A., who had very recently stalled in her art, but now she had found a 5000 hours challenge. Which meant that she would have to do 5000 hours of art. I told her it's ambitious. She told me to sleep and mute my phone.

The next morning while I was on the train, she texted me about the 5000 hours again. The shocking discovery: 5000 hours is a lot. A calculated that if she would do 1 hour of art on workdays, and 2,5 hours on the weekends, it would take her 500 weeks. That's about 10 years. Even if she were to double her art time, it still looked hopeless. Even for someone who doesn't have kids, a demanding partner, non-artist full-time job, or an affair it's almost impossible. In fact if you weren't to sleep, work, and ditch the affair and only make art 24/7 it would still take 208 days. And you'd be dead by the end ...

By the end of the day we decided that 1000 was a much more doable goal. That would be 41,67 days without sleep, food, pooping, work, and your affair. In an effort to keep her at it, and because I was curious how much of my time I even spend writing I joined in. She would have 1000 Hours of Art, and I would have 1000 Hours of Writing.

Since I excluded diary writing as writing - we made a rough chart what count as writing for me:
  • Blog posts
  • Any kind of fictional stories - not matter if fanfiction or original
  • Learning new things about writing or running a blog
  • Correcting said writing, or other people's writing
Basically every step that would lead from the shoddy draft of a blog post or story to the finished product I dare to publish! And every single step that would make me into a better writing. In A's list are the obvious but also her art blog, because she would learn about art while writing. 

On the same day we broke out the stopwatches, and began! 

After the first 20 hours:

We started on the 8th of August and, joy of joys, I finished my first 20 hours on the 26th. 
The first impression I had was that I write surprisingly litte. But that's not really true ... if I give it some thought I discover that I simply write quickly. 

Things I had written in the time were:
  • 3 now published blog posts
  • 2 blog posts which remain drafts
  • 2 published fanfictions - each between 2,000 and 2,500 words
  • the beginnings of a smaller story
  • last but not least a few chapters for a bigger project
The "problem" seems to be that I write very quickly. I was not really aware of that. I've discovered that for an average length post I need max. one hour for writing and maybe two for editing. If inspiration is very kind I can write posts in 30 minutes! 

Would I be a worse writer, I'd have more hours ...

Here you can read more about my progress

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