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.