I’ve recently began reading Steven Pressfield’s books “The War of Art” and “Turning Pro.” They have me asking myself what my work means to me?
In my experience, I’ve seen most people turn to writing as a way to make a career out of it. Meaning, they want to make money out of it. And when I think about that, it feels really hollow for me. If I don’t immediately make money off my work, then I will probably end up stopping my work.
And the reality is, most of this early work is never going to be any good because it takes time to cultivate things of meaning in writing work.
I like what Pressfield brings around turning pro:
“Turning pro is free, but it demands sacrifice. The passage is often accompanied by an interior odyssey whose trials are survived only at great cost, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. We pass through a membrane when we turn pro. It hurts. It’s messy and it’s scary. We tread in blood when we turn pro.”
It’s not about becoming a professional and making money off of your work. It’s about turning your life back towards your work. And it’s not a set path. It’s a journey. Back to some deeper part of yourself. Back towards the part of you that is speaking out from within you to do the thing you know you should be doing.
For me, that has always been writing. In some form or another. Whether through music, poetry, my career. Writing has been a central point of my life. Early in my life, it helped me find my way to Naropa University, where I found a path forward after not having one for a while.
It has been the single most important thing in my life. So, while these posts are simple, frazzled, and not necessarily imperative, they are the building blocks. It’s my attempt to turn pro, I guess, or more simply to turn to the inner calling in me and act upon it.