Similarly, as much as I love ice hockey, even with 10,000 hours of working on it I could never be a professional hockey player. I could make a list of all my other interests that with time put in, I'd be sufficient, but not proficient in. But this is not to put down the idea of 10,000 hours completely. What's important to realize is, that if you want to do something, you have to do it. I know that as a professional writer for more than 30 years, it's all been a matter of writing everyday. The same with being a percussionist. I have to play everyday. It's not enough to just think about doing something—"Yeah, I'm going to practice."—you have to actually do it.
Do The Practice
If you want to play drums, you need to practice everyday. You need to work on not just things you know, but things you don't know. Otherwise, you're just treading water.
You need to turn off the computer, turn off the TV, put away all the distractions and get on with serious work on what you want to be. And today there are so many distractions competing for our time. But you have to decide what it is you really want, and then do that. I remember reading about author Chuck Palahniuk, who wrote Fight Club, in his spare time while working at a truck factory. He could've watched TV, or gone out and partied, or played video games, but he wanted to be a writer, so he wrote. This really inspired me. There are many other stories of artists in various disciplines pursuing their art in their spare moments while they worked a day job to pay the bills.
Right now, I could be watching TV or doing some other sort of distraction, but it's been over a week since I posted to this blog, so I need to write a new post. And I'm sitting here writing. I'm doing the practice. I've been both writing and playing drums since I was a kid, and I still do it. I still work on both of them. I'm always looking to push myself forward. I'm doing the practice.
Are you doing the practice?