You don’t suck. You just haven’t practiced enough.

I want you to do something for me.

Think about something you really suck at. I mean, something that you are 100 percent sure you were born without the gene for.

Got it?

Here’s mine: dancing.

Now ask yourself this question.

How much time have you spent as an adult doing that thing?

My answer: Maybe ten hours. Total. And four of those were last month in Nashville. One hundred percent of them were after I’d had a drink or three.

Now, think about something you’re really good at. Something you’re confident you just were born to do.

Here’s mine: cooking.

Now ask yourself the same question.

How much time have you spent as an adult doing that thing?

My answer: An average of at least an hour every single day. That’s very close to 10,000 hours in the years between 18 and 45.

Do you see where I’m going here?

It’s ridiculous to judge how good you are at something without taking into consideration the amount of practice you have doing it.

Every month I release a digital product or program for the people who support the Ninja Writers on Patreon at the $3 level or more.

In May 2017, that thing is a Medium Post-a-Day Challenge. There’s a Facebook Group where people who take up the challenge can share links to their daily posts, ask questions, connect with each other.

My plan is to just keep it going. Anyone who wants to can become a patron and join us, anytime. We don’t all have to be at the same place in our challenge.

I’m pretty excited about this whole thing. Really, as excited as I’ve been about anything for a long time. (And trust me, I get excited a lot. Ninja Writers is an exciting thing, all around, so that’s saying something.)

Here’s why: I love that I’m going to be able to be part of watching a whole bunch of awesome writers bloom.

A Post-a-Day Challenge is one of those things that is such a stretch that you won’t be able to help but see progress as it happens. Like when I go to the gym with my husband and his friend and lift weights. Every time I do it, I can tell I’ve gotten stronger, because I can lift more than I could before.

I’m always operating at close to capacity when I lift weights, so there is zero doubt when progress happens.

That’s the same with this challenge.

Also, it’ll be at least thirty hours of practice writing for an audience.

I told you. Exciting!

True Story

No one is born good at anything but bodily functions. And some of us even have to learn how to be good at those.

Obviously, someone who writes for an hour a day is going to be a better writer than someone who spends an hour a day really thinking hard about being a writer.

One wasn’t born proficient and the other born a loser.

Don’t write one book, then decide you suck if it doesn’t light the world on fire. Write ten books. And keep learning with each one. You’ll become a better writer. You won’t have any choice. It’ll just happen.

And then keep writing.

You don’t get to say “I’m a crap writer” if you haven’t put 10,000 hours into it. You haven’t given yourself the opportunity to know.

You can say that you don’t want to put 10,000 hours into it. That’s something else entirely.

I’d like to be a musician, but I’m not willing to put in the time. I’d like to learn to speak Spanish fluently, but I’m not willing to put in the time. Or at least, so far, I haven’t been willing.

Know what?

I’ve said, “I’m just not a musician.”(Maybe 10 total hours practice since age 18.)

Also, “I suck at languages. My brain doesn’t work that way.” (Maybe 50 total hours practice since age 18.)

I’m totally confident in my writing ability. (At least 10,000 total hours practice time. Probably closer to 30,000.)

It’s time to retrain my thinking. No more deciding I’m not good at something that I’ve never learned to do.

You, too.

Write every single day. Just do it. You’ll see, quickly, what I’m talking about.

Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. — Ray Bradbury (My life’s motto.)

You’ll get faster. You’ll get better. You’ll start to enjoy it more.

And your confidence will grow.

You’ll believe you’re a better writer. BECAUSE YOU WILL BE.

Ready? Join the Post-a-Day Challenge here.

Or you can get started for free with the Anti-Blogging for Creatives mini-course.