Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work
By: Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne
Black Irish Entertainment LLC; unknown edition (May 31, 2012)
Turning Pro is a book about just that, becoming a professional artist. The focus is on writing, but this is a book for anyone who aspires to a creative life. The long and short of it is that amateurs approach their art with undisciplined wishes. Professionals treat their art like work. If you want to be a writer, for example, there is no way to avoid writing every day – for that’s what writers do (systems over goals.) Do the work. This book was a fantastic companion to The War Of Art.
Two of my favorite quotes:
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. What we get when we turn pro is, we find our power. We find our will and our voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and to live out. Do you remember where you were on 9/11? You’ll remember where you were when you turn pro.
Am I crazy? All my friends are making money and settling down and living normal lives. What the hell am I doing? Am I nuts? What’s wrong with me? In the end I answered the question by realizing that I had no choice. I couldn’t do anything else. When I tried, I got so depressed I couldn’t stand it. So when I wrote yet another novel or screenplay that I couldn’t sell, I had no choice but to write another after that. The truth was, I was enjoying myself. Maybe nobody else liked the stuff I was doing, but I did. I was learning. I was getting better.