Practical Advice from ‘Turning Pro’ by Steven Pressfield (An Actionable Books summary)

“Turning pro is not for everyone. We have to be a little crazy to do it, or even to want to. In many ways the passage chooses us; we don’t choose it. We simply have no alternative.”

Turning Pro, page 5

Steven Pressfield knows more about suffering than I do. If you’ve ever tried to create something, you know what that means, but I’ll spell it out for anyone who’s confused.

Everything worth doing is art. The obvious stuff – writing, painting, sculpting – is art, certainly.

There’s another kind of art though, and it exists in your business, in your life.

If you’re trying to do something with real meaning, something not quite orthodox, you have felt what traditional artists feel every day: Resistance.

In Pressfield’s earlier book, The War of Art, he detailed what Resistance is, and how to combat it. It was originally titled The Writer’s Life so it’s no surprise that it’s slanted toward those who share Pressfield’s profession. But as a man of broad vision, he knows that we all face Resistance, what Seth Godin calls the lizard brain. When we try to do something important, the voice in the back of our head tries to stop us.

In many cases, it wins. Even those of us who’ve read and re-read The War of Art until it’s worn have succumbed to Resistance.

We needed more than awareness. We needed a tool, a path, a flashlight.

Turning Pro is a flashlight on the path.

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘Turning Pro’ by Steven Pressfield (An Actionable Books summary)”

I Am A Professional

I am a professional.

A professional gets up in the morning.

A professional takes care of their health.

A professional occasionally calls in sick, but only when they can’t or shouldn’t work.

A professional does something productive every day, whether it’s the work, or the stuff around the work.

A professional puts in real time, not just spare minutes here and there.

A professional cares enough to focus instead of seeking out distractions.

A professional knows when to knock off for the day, and when to put in long hours.

A professional gets paid fairly for their work.

A professional is proud of their work but continues to learn their craft.

A professional doesn’t have to be a teacher, but does have to be a doer.

A professional knows sometimes work feels like play.

A professional doesn’t play while pretending it’s work.

A professional might have more than one job but has only one vocation.

I am a professional.

Nobody Is Famous Enough

Spoke to 24 writers in a coffee shop Thursday night. Near the end of the evening I mentioned The War of Art and didn’t get the nods and smiles I expected. I stopped, and asked who’d read it.

Crickets chirped outside. The sun drifted closer to the horizon. Otherwise, not much happened. … more … “Nobody Is Famous Enough”