Book Review: Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

Do you have a big ambitious goal you want to achieve? Dreaming, fantasizing and imagining what it would be like if _____. Are you still an amateur, now ready to take it to the next level? You are not alone.


Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro may be the book you need to jumpstart your goals this year. It was for me. The precursor to Turning Pro is the iconic The War of Art, which I read more than four years ago. Though you don’t need to read The War of Art first, I would highly recommend it to any creative seeking to overcome procrastination.


Here are three of my favorite quotes from Turning Pro:


“Each day, the professional understands, he will wake up facing the same demons, the same Resistance, the same self-sabotage, the same tendencies to shadow activities and amateurism that he has always faced.”


“Our work is practice. One bad day is nothing to us. Ten bad days are nothing.”


“Once we turn pro, we’re like sharks who have tasted blood, or renunciants who have glimpsed the face of God. For us, there is no finish line. No bell ends the bout. Life is the pursuit. Life is the hunt. When our hearts burst… then we’ll go out, and no sooner.”


The book falls into the instructive/mentoring category. It almost feels like the author is sitting on your shoulder and telling you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. He suggests that any amateur who wants to turn pro must start thinking, behaving and doing all the things that a pro does. It’s not about the desire to become a pro but the effort that goes into becoming a pro that matters.


Before I finished reading this book, I made the decision to stop toying with the idea of becoming an author and to begin the process of turning pro. Many books may inspire you to think differently, but not all books can propel you to take action. Turning Pro does both.


As a result, I ditched all my excuses and got back to work after seven months of procrastination. I reinstated my daily creative writing habit and have already made significant progress on plotting my next novel through writing just 30 minutes every single day.


There’s a reason that the words, Turning Pro, are two of my three words for 2016.


Your Turn: Have you ever read a book that changed both your mindset and your habits, like Turning Pro did for me? I’d love to hear about it!