You are currently viewing The 10,000-Hour Rule
Henry O. Arnold and Brian Mitchell
  • Post published:December 15, 2021

If you apply the 10,000-hour rule introduced by psychologist, K. Anders Ericsson and popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, that one could become an expert in various fields by allotting thousands of hours of time and energy to perfect their skills, then in the field of writing, I might qualify as an expert. In my case, I use the term “expert” loosely, and allotting thousands of hours to perfect a skill in an area of interest does not guarantee success.

I know today’s camera technology performs at the speed of light, but it took 10,000 hours to make this cover picture. A few years ago, after I had produced a number of manuscripts most of which had remained hidden from public view, I met Brian Mitchell, president of WTA-Media.

The writing side of my life was decades in the making. I collected rejection letters from publishers and producers far and wide. Those letters have all been burned, by the way. I see no reason to keep tangible reminders that perfect strangers didn’t have the good sense to recognize my genius.

For years I sat at my desk and hammered away on my typewriter. In 1989 I won five hundred dollars in a literary contest and bought my first computer. The clicking typewriter keys and manually slamming the carriage at the end of every line became a by-gone sound effect. In time, complete manuscripts began to pile up all looking for a home. There were intermittent successes, but most folks in the publishing world “passed by on the other side.”

Then I showed up on Brian’s doorstep like a pet that had been left out in the rain. When everyone said “no,” Brian said “yes.” When rejections from publishers began crowding his inbox, he said, “I believe.” When I gave him the option to throw in the towel, he said, “Keep your towel.” Through his patience and persistence, Brian landed a publishing deal with WhiteFire Publishing and brought my biblical/historical fiction series, The Song of Prophets and Kings, across the finish line. Once that was done, I was then blessed with the bonus of Dave Schroeder, the literary and marketing guru extraordinaire also at WTA-Media.

Mr. Schroeder

Last year A Voice Within the Flame, the first volume of my series, saw the light of day. Now the second volume in this fiction series, Crown of the Warrior King, is available wherever books are sold. And there are more volumes ahead. The saga will continue.

First Volume
Second Volume

As a creative person I have endured my share of the proverbial struggles while living the life of the starving artist. And though I maintain low levels of fame and fortune (no Paparazzi camped in my front yard); I have been blessed with enough opportunities to have what might be called a career in the business of making art. While the act of writing would be considered a solo activity, once the story is written you hope a community of people arrive at your door to say, “how may we help?” Brian and Dave showed up and moved in. I am forever grateful.

Writing for me is a three-fold process each one producing a specific emotional response: there is joy in the everyday discipline of writing; there is bliss when the book appears in print and may be purchased wherever books are sold; and there is rapture when someone tells me they have read my book and found it to be an enjoyable experience. It is not that my genius has been rewarded, but my perseverance.