Turning pro

. 1 min read

So when I first read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, I was dumbfounded. The man knows exactly what I'm going through - and is telling me how to solve any problem I ever had! The issue - and the solution - is in the term resistance: the little voice in your head that tells you you can't do something and shouldn't even try. Once you realize what resistance is and what it's trying to do, you can view it the right way and actively fight it to claim back your right to choose for yourself.

Pressfield has also written another book (a bunch of them actually), called Turning Pro. It's about the difference between a hobbyist and a professional. It also beautifully explains why Stephen King has published so many more books than George R. R. Martin, for example.

You see, Stephen King is a pro. (I'm beginning to realize I mention him a little too many times in WIP articles.)

King has a routine he follows every day. While a hobbyist waits for inspiration to strike before sitting down to write, King sits down approximately at the same time every day and starts typing, regardless of whether or not he feels inspired. In a way, he goes to work every morning, like any other blue-collar worker in a mine or a grocery store. He shows up.

What's more, King knows (I assume) that inspiration isn't something that pops up randomly in your head if you wait long enough - it's something that is woken up by the act of sitting down to work.

This makes all the difference! Whether your art is poetry or painting or pottery making or dancing or acting, don't wait for inspiration to strike, but get to work. You're infinitely more likely to wake up the creative spirit by doing things that speak to the creative spirit. Lying motionessly on the floor rarely speaks to anything.

(Unless you're meditating. But that's different.)