Turning Pro

Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work
by Steven Pressfield | Black Irish Books © 2012 · 132 pages

Turning Pro. Steven Pressfield tells us that's how we win The War of Art against our nemesis Resistance. Brilliant stuff. In this Note, we'll take a quick look at Shadow Callings (w/a look at mine!), the blissful hell of Epiphanies and more goodness on how to officially turn pro.

I wrote in ‘The War of Art’ that I could divide my life neatly into two parts: before turning pro and after. After is better.
Steven Pressfield

“The thesis of this book is that what ails you and me has nothing to do with being sick or being wrong. What ails us is that we are living our lives as amateurs.

The solution, this book suggests, is that we turn pro.

Turning pro is free, but it’s not easy. You don’t need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind.

Turning pro is free, but not without cost. When we turn pro, we give up a life with which we may have become extremely comfortable. We give up a self that we have come to identify with and to call our own…

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.”

~ Steven Pressfield from Turning Pro

In The War of Art (see those Notes and get the book if you haven’t already!), Steven Pressfield tells us that the word amateur comes from the Latin root meaning “to love.”

But he tells us that we’ve got it wrong.

If we *really* loved something, we wouldn’t be an amateur. We wouldn’t be a weekend warrior, a hobbyist who puts his or her spare time into something.

We’d go all in. We’d commit full-time. We’d become a Professional and show the proper level of commitment to something we love so deeply.

In short, we’d turn pro.

Written in Steve’s ineffable style, this book is a mini-manifesto on how we go about Turning Pro. There are three sections: Book One: The Amateur Life + Book Two: Self-Inflicted Wounds + Book Three: The Professional Mindset.

I’m excited to share a handful of my favorite Big Ideas (along with my own process of Turning Pro) and hope you dig it.

Let’s jump straight in!

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About the author


Steven Pressfield

American author of historical fiction, non-fiction, and screenplays.