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Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work unknown Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
What made "Turning Pro" most useful for me was that it provided the motivation for an extended self-examination. When you understand what Pressfield means by "Turning Pro" you'll be compelled to examine the beliefs, attitudes, and habits of your life to see if they're leading you where you want to go and be.
Pressfield presents his wisdom in easy to read, small chunks. He whets your appetite for becoming a pro and clearly diagnoses the problem. However, even though the final section deals with how to become a pro, I left the book feeling as if there must be more. Maybe I'll need to go back and study the many brief points Pressfield makes: it may be all there, but somehow I felt like something is missing, so I'm giving the book 4 stars. Also, I feel like Pressfield beats a dead horse some times and begins repeating himself.
The book needs a Table of Contents, especially since there are so many small sections. It didn't work on my Kindle version of the book.
Now for the longer review.
For a few years now, I've profited from the works of Stephen Pressfield (as well as Seth Godin, with whom he has now partnered). But this book has a particular appeal to me.Read more ›
The chapters of this book are as short as Seth Godin's sentences. Here's an example: "The amateur tweets. The pro works." (Yes, that's the whole chapter.)
One of the book's longest chapters consists of an excerpt from Rosanne Cash's memoir -- detailing her "turning pro" moment. The chapter following that is an excerpt from The War of Art where Pressfield retells his own life-changing moment. The book's third "turning pro" moment is made up of a one-page description of an alcoholic finally deciding that she's had enough of her drinking.
If those descriptions of going pro aren't enough for you, there are plenty of other clues as to what happens when one turns pro:
"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 identify the secret dream or love or bliss that we have known all along as our passion, our calling, our destiny."
The author describes turning pro as life-changing decision. It is similar to 9/11 in the sense that you never forget where you were when it happened. Pressfield's life can be divided into two parts: before and after he turned pro. This makes it very confusing when he, perhaps as an attempt to show how similar he is to the novice creator, writes that "The amateur is you and me" and "But mostly what we all fear as amateurs...".Read more ›
Many of us end up with a shadow career: a degree removed from our true calling. It could be someone who teaches writing at a university instead of writing the novels that they have dreamed about.
"A shadow career entails no real risk. If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us."
Pressfield gives examples of his failure and success in his life and others. While you won't be surprised that the amateur phase of his life is full of unrealized potential and disappointment, the professional (from his 30s to present) phase has failure as well, but only by an external definition.
The professional failures are only considered failures as measured by others. Books and scripts that never got published. But these were the years that he honed his craft and became the writer he is today.
As he exhibits throughout the book, turning pro is about doing the work you were meant to do with an internal frame of reference and enjoyment. Credit from others may never come.
Not sure if I agree with his stance on casual sex: "My own theory is that the obsessive pursuit of sex is an attempt to obliterate the ego, i.e., 'normal' consciousness, the monkey-mind that tortures us with restlessness, fear, anger, and self-centeredness."
Need to think about that some more.
Regardless, the book does its job in questioning the reader if they are truly a pro and not just a shadow of one. It compliments The War of Art. Make sure to read both.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If I could rate this book 3.5 stars I would. But I gave it the benefit of the doubt because I do like it. And I did find it helpful in certain areas. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Drew Laughlin
Easy read. Nothing groundbreaking but made important points about being a pro and what that really meansPublished 5 days ago by Bobby Bouche
This is the kick I needed! If you're not getting things done, then take a good look at this book and a good look in the mirror and you'll likely find your answer. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Geoff McDonald
Thank you Mr Pressfield, for writing this treasure. I'm going back to page one to read it again. Yes, it's was that good.Published 12 days ago by Brian Rella
I didn't love this book but I did really enjoy many parts of it. It's a different kind of book, basically a modern book of creative proverbs. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Katherine Robinson
I've gained valuable insights from Stephen Pressfield earlier books, but this one really hits it out of the park. Read morePublished 15 days ago by J. Babcock
This book complement The War of Art. The author goes a bit more deep into Turning Pro philosophy.
If you want to understand what it takes to turn pro and remain pro this... Read more