In Steven Pressfield’s great little book, The War of Art, he talks about overcoming the resistance. That insidious force which hinders us from doing our creative work. Deciding that you have had enough of this nattering nabob of negativity and wanting to move forward requires radical action. The resistance can be overcome by only one thing… Going Pro.
Going Pro, means leaving the amateur life behind. It means showing up on time and doing the work. No excuses. No calling in sick. No blue flu.
In fact, Pressfield has a list of 20 things that a professional life entails. Here they are…
- The professional shows up every day
- The professional stays on the job all day
- The professional is committed over the long haul
- For the professional, the stakes are high and real
- The professional is patient
- The professional seeks order
- The professional demystifies
- The professional acts in the face of fear
- The professional accepts no excuses
- The professional plays it as it lays
- The professional is prepared
- The professional does not show off
- The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique
- The professional does not hesitate to ask for help
- The professional does not take failure or success personally
- The professional does not identify with his or her instrument
- The professional endures adversity
- The professional self-validates
- The professional reinvents herself
- The professional is recognized by other professionals
While 20 things is too many to remember on a regular basis, I can visualize going pro by picturing it as a regular job. For me this means, showing up, doing the work, and shipping the product.
I’ve been blogging now for 8 years. All the time, I’ve had a regular job. Blogging was a hobby or side job. While I took it seriously, it was always secondary. If my blog had ever taken off, I would have had a hard time setting aside my real job and putting the time and travel in that was required for Pro status.
Now that I’m out on my own, I need to make a commitment to myself, and create my own manifesto of sorts. Something I believe in and recognize.
This requires a new mindset and a different set of rules.
It requires radical action.
I need to Go Pro.