Making Your Own Creative Luck

October 20, 2010

I recently finished Steven Pressfield’s “War of Art.” As many of you already know, this book has been highly regarded and recommended to read by creative individuals across the land. But I never got around to reading it – until recently. I found that this book lived up to all the positive buzz that I’d been hearing and reading about. Whether you’re an artist, writer, dancer, entrepreneur or whatever, I would highly recommend you read it.

I especially enjoyed Pressfield’s section about turning pro – which means that whatever artistic endeavor we pursue, we turn pro when we really commit ourselves to that endeavor. It means that we take our endeavor seriously and that we’re not just dabbling or exploring.

It also got me thinking about how we, many times in life, create our own luck. Chances are, if we love doing something, we keep doing it. We practice. We get better.

Early in my college days I had an assignment in a creative writing class. I had to write a short story that was 8 to 10 pages in length. The weekend before it was due, I had the worst case of writer’s block in my life. I took walks, talked to friends, prayed, meditated, had a few beers. Still, I had no idea what to write about. I was driving myself crazy.

Looking back I realize I never really put the work or commitment needed to get through that evil case of writer’s block. I realize today, thanks to Julia Cameron and her Morning Pages, that I’m capable of writing at times when my mind isn’t ready or filled with ideas. I understand that all my practice – whether it be a journal entry, an email, a rough draft – prepares me when it’s time for me to write something important. In other words, I’m putting my time in. I’m practicing and committed to improvement.

Ultimately, this “turning pro” helps us to create our own luck. It’s not a coincidence, after all of our commitment and time spent perfecting our craft, that we’re more likely to experience success than if we were to just continue dabbling and exploring.

So how about you…in what ways, what areas of your life are you committing yourself to your craft?

Creative Commons photo courtesy of mccheek.

1 Ryhen Satch October 20, 2010 at 7:54 am

Awesome post, Tim. I just went by a couple of blogs and I noticed something peculiar as soon as I read your article. The first one I visited talked about luck and the other one gave reference two two books. I guess I need to call the ghostbusters now.

So how about you…in what ways, what areas of your life are you committing yourself to your craft? – Oh, nothing really serious. I just dedicated my whole life to finding wisdom. I do only three things: reading, writing, and meditating. When you do something like this everyday, all sorts of crazy things happen inside your head. Perhaps I’m not after wisdom after all. Maybe it’s insanity i’m trying to pursue. Oh well.

Have a great day, Tim! =)

2 Lance October 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm

I really love this – especially what you have shared about turning pro. It really has me thinking! Thinking especially about the life coaching I’m doing now – and how that is starting to feel more “pro-ish”….

Thanks for sharing this – and really – in that, inspiring me to think about what my next steps really are…

3 Tim October 21, 2010 at 8:06 am

Hi Ryhen: Sounds like you experienced some interesting coincidences revolving around luck. Speaking of coincidences, after I wrote this post I visited Lori’s Jane Be Nimble blog and she mentioned the discounted price on the War of Art eBook. I went back and added the link at the end of the post, but I know what you mean about calling Ghostbusters. It sounds like you’ve made an interesting commitment to gain wisdom. I think its great – I know you’ve had some very enlightening posts on your blog about spiritual matters. Very good stuff. Ha ha…some people might say you’re crazy, but I say you’re following your bliss so that’s cool. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here and have a good one!

Hi Lance: I’m glad the going pro part resonated with you, too. Pressfield, in his book, really forces us to think differently about our situations and I think it’s brilliant and very motivating. I didn’t know you are a life coach, but I have no doubt that you will be turning pro (if you haven’t already) and helping a lot of people. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

4 Lori October 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I’m jumping up and down, I really love this post.
Yes, yes, and yes, all those days of drafting stories, Morning Pages, and even thoughtful well-written emails over time builds your tool box. Yes! Exactly!

Pressfield impresses me, and I downloaded his book yesterday. I can’t wait to read it. (Yes, I’ve lugged away the rock I was living under. ha ha) What a great post, my brother. You’ve nailed it!

(I didn’t know Lance was a life coach, either…wow!)
P.S. I love the graphic here. Gorgeous!
~xo [tks for the link love!]

5 Tim October 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Hi Lori: Thanks so much form your good words…I’m right there with you…living under a rock. After dozens of recommendations, I finally read the book and it was awesome! I know it touches a lot on what you cover at JBN and what you’re passionate about. Thanks for mentioning the sale price of the eBook on your blog…a very cool and timely coincidence. I bet your half way through the book by now. In any case, I hope all is well with you and you’re having a great day!

6 Lance October 21, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Hey Tim,
I…ummm…just read my original comment here (after seeing your reply). No, I’m not a life coach (although it sure read that way up above!) (sorry for the confusion). I have a life coach that is helping me work through some things (which – she is excellent, by the way!). So, I’m using the services of a life coach….and very much benefiting from them.

By the way – thanks for the link to the ebook. I’ve purchased and downloaded it!

7 Tim October 22, 2010 at 9:17 am

Hi Lance: Sorry to mis-interpret your comment. That being said, I bet you’d make an excellent life coach – I’m serious. In any case, thank you for clearing that up and I hope you have a great day!

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