25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A new definition of "professional",
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This review is from: Turning Pro (Kindle Edition)
The subject matter, finding AND doing your life's work, is a deceptively difficult topic. Self-doubt, fear of failure, fear of success, and ego can keep us from ever pursuing it.
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.