Stephen King’s Ascent

Over at the blog Study Hacks, Cal Newport has a post about Stephen King, and how he used deliberate practice to increase his skill as a writer.

Deliberate practice is the idea that talent alone doesn’t explain high achievement. In his article Why Talent is Overrated, CNN/Money writer Geoff Colvin explain it like this:

So if specific, inborn talent doesn’t explain high achievement, what does? Researchers have converged on an answer. It’s something they call “deliberate practice,” but watch out – it isn’t what most of us think of as practice, nor does it boil down to a simplistic practice-makes-perfect explanation.

It isn’t just hard work, either. Deliberate practice is a specific and unique kind of activity, neither work nor play. It’s characterized by several elements that together form a powerful whole. The greatest performers have consistently combined these elements, sometimes just by luck.

Read the whole article to find out more about what elements make up deliberate practice, and also check out Cal’s posts on the same to find out more.

I got a big kick out of seeing Cal posting about Stephen King, because after reading both of their work (including Cal’s book So Good They Can’t Ignore You) I came up with the idea of the School of Writing experiment. It’s funny to see how it all connects.


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