Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book Outliers that you become an expert in a task that you practice for 10,000 hours. Essentially, he’s equating a large number of hours spent with proficiency in that task.
For me, I’m crossing that threshold this year for my fiber artisan work. By the way, I’ve always had difficulty calling myself an artist. I think of that label as something others call you. I’m ok with the term “artisan” because I feel that what I do in spinning, weaving, braiding, dyeing and associated fiber arts as a craft and the term Artisan suits me.
Anyway, I’ve been at this latest incarnation of fiber arts for about 6 years, but when you add the time I spent earlier in life knitting and crocheting, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve exceeded that milestone. But to be fair, the concentration of effort over the last 6 years really puts me at that magical 10,000 hour mark. What does it mean?
Who knows? Maybe nothing, but it is a measure of concentrated effort and a drive to continue to learn and create. It’s taken a long time, but I think I can finally say that “I know what I want to be when I grow up.” Better late than never.
If a day goes by without my working in some way with fiber, I feel it’s absence.
Here’s to another 10,000+ hours!