Objects in Mirror

Discussion: Does it take 10,000 hours to be a great poet?

Posted at 4:00 PM on January 14, 2009 by Julia Schrenkler

Gather.com regular Edward Nudelman opened an interesting discussion on our mnreaders.gather.com group. He wonders about Malcolm Gladwell's theory on practice creating a body of experience. Does it take 10,000 hours to be a great poet?:

"I like Gladwell's 10,000 rule. It puts a stronger emphasis on the value of learning a craft, a talent, even a gift. It puts a premium on rehearsing, on honing, on editing, on revising (not to discount stream of consciousness writing, extemporaneous models, etc.) It's clear we'd do better to read 100 pages for every page we write. Or a 1000 pages. If you write poetry, then read poetry. Read about poetry. Read about the lives of poets. Read history, when a poem about an historical event strikes you deeply."
Do you agree with Gladwell and Nudelman on mastering a skill, or do you believe innate talent - or even random luck - can create art?

January 2009
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