90% skill

I recently finished reading The Syndrome: A Kingdom Keepers Adventure, the last of the nine (so far) Kingdom Keepers books by Ridley Pearson. At one point in it he quotes Stephen King. I can’t find this exact King quote anywhere, but considering Pearson plays in a band with King, I figure even if he’s not quoting him verbatim, he’s making a pretty accurate paraphrase. “Stephen King, the [horror novel] master,” Pearson writes, “had once said success was ninety percent hard work, five percent talent and five percent luck.”

In today’s Friday Video, fantasy master Brandon Sanderson says much the same thing in a lecture to his Brigham Young University creative writing course. He calls the “ninety percent hard work” ninety percent skill. “For the baseball player, it’s not a matter of luck when they connect. It’s a matter of having spent thousands of hours practicing how to do that.”

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