I am just now sending a book to the editor that should have been published by last October. There are some reasons for the delay, like, travel and other pressing events. But the main reason that it is not published is me. Honestly, sometimes I think it is crap. Sometimes, I think it is a vain exercise. Sometimes, I think I need to review it again for the tenth or twentieth time. Sometimes, I am afraid of how people will respond when they read it. Sometimes, I think I should change the title or something else about the book as I endlessly obsess over trying to get it just right. Turning Pro was written for people like me.
Turning Pro is a book to encourage people to act on what is in their heart. It has special significance for people who want to write or create something as it delves deep within the psyche of what causes us to sabotage what is probably our single most important contribution to the world.
Living as “amateurs” is our way of running away from our true selves. It causes us to develop a shadow career that keeps us from being our truest selves. Pressfield writes, “Both addict and artist are dealing are dealing with the same material, the pain of being human and the struggle against self-sabotage.” (p.22). “What happens when we turn pro is, we finally listen to that still small voice inside our heads. At last, we find the courage to find the secret dream or love or bliss that we have known all along was our passion, our calling, our destiny.” (p.70)
A good portion of the book unwraps the habits and attitudes of the “professional,” like, “The professional does not wait for inspiration; he acts in anticipation of it.” (p.99).
Steven Pressfield is an interesting guy who has done a little bit of everything during his life, from fruit picking, to truck driving, to writing screen plays (The Legend of Bagger Vance) and books. Turning Pro is a small book with a lot of white space on some pages, but it is not its word count that makes it valuable; it is that fact this guy gets inside our head (at least mine). He exposes what holds us back and encourages in the hard work that will move us forward to being our truest, best self, moving us from to dreaming to creating.
His companion book, The War of Art, sets the context for this one and is equally insightful and inspiring.