years to mastery

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Perhaps you may want to work at creating something challenging (something that may require a commitment of years for you to become technically adept, and that may often seem dreadfully difficult) like poems, ceramics, sculptures, photographs, paintings, performance art, or woven tapestries. But you find yourself putting off the attempt, or quitting as soon as you start, or midway through deciding you are talentless and it’s useless to try, or if you are actually working, feeling intermittently too discouraged and too alone. What is happening? Well, you may be asking the wrong questions or placing mistaken expectations on yourself. Particularly, you may be unaware of how the necessary struggles of your own unconscious mind, if misunderstood, will bruise your heart, arrest your efforts prematurely, and prevent your staying absorbed in your errand. Yet, the same struggles, appreciated, will enable your creativity and the larger processes of mastery.
— Janna Malamud Smith, An Absorbing Errand

I remember reading that it takes about 10 years to master a craft.

From Leo Babauta of Zen Habits:

It takes anywhere from 6-10 years to get great at something, depending on how often and how much you do it. Some estimate that it takes 10,000 hours to master something, but I think it varies from person to person and depends on the skill and other factors.

I've been taking pictures since my children were born—that's 30 years. But I didn't begin to take my craft seriously until 2008 when I first began a blog, and I didn't begin a dedicated practice until 2016 when the crushing blow of my mother's dementia led me to photography, like medicine for me. I'm only beginning to set my foot firmly in the craft of photography.

And somehow, knowing that it can take a decade to master a craft is comforting. There is time to learn.