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Turning Pro

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  11,736 ratings  ·  733 reviews
The follow up to the War of Art. In the War of Art Pressfield identifies the enemy to living an authentic life – resistance. In Turning Pro, Pressfield teaches you how to defeat it.
Kindle Edition, 148 pages
Published May 30th 2012 by Black Irish Books
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Rachel Foreman I read 'War on Art' first and found it fantastic and truly made me grow up. Turning Pro was the next step in inspiring me to become a professional. Th…moreI read 'War on Art' first and found it fantastic and truly made me grow up. Turning Pro was the next step in inspiring me to become a professional. The next favorite I am currently reading, "Mastery" by Steven Greene. Yes, a totally different Stev/phen but in the mental development, I have been on the perfect third to Pressfield's two. I am now on my road to Mastery.
In conclusion, I recommend all three aforementioned in similar order;)(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  11,736 ratings  ·  733 reviews


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Yuri Karabatov
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
The amateur tweets. The pro works.

That pretty much sums up the book for me.

In the face of uncertainty and doubt, the amateur chooses distraction, while the pro chooses to do the work instead. The pro knows: doubt won't go away by itself, one has to push it, shove it, kick it. By doing the work.

What is distraction, if not self-sabotage, sabotage of one's future self? As Pressfield puts it, "lives go down the tubes one hundred and forty characters at a time." It's not only Twitter, but any distra
...more
Ryan Holiday
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I don't remember when I first read The War of Art, but I know it changed my life. Of all of the books I have read since then, there are few I have returned to more often. Why? Because Steven Pressfield teaches you how to be an artist--a professional one.

And now Pressfield is back to pick up where he left of with Turning Pro. The first words grabbing you by the collar and pulling you down the path: "I wrote in The War of Art that I could divide my life neatly into two parts: before turning pro an
...more
J.F. Penn
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing, entrepreneur
This book is a serious challenge for any creative who wants to be considered a professional in their chosen sphere. Pressfield holds nothing back and this book seriously kicked my ass. He takes the excuses we all wheel out sometimes and blows them to pieces while telling of his own past, giving emotional resonance to some difficult life lessons. The book underscores the fact that turning pro is not for everyone, that there is considerable sacrifice. I was personally convicted on my habits and ho ...more
Mur Lafferty
Pressfield's War of Art really spoke to me, especially regarding the concept of Resistance.

Turning Pro seemed to be more of the same, however. Nothing new was in this book, and I was very disappointed. The core message can be summed up thusly: Wanna be a pro? Get serious. Turn off the Internet. Stop wishing, start working. That's the message. Same message as in War of Art.

Like War of Art, this is a book of sound bytes, some chapters no more than a sentence, most no more than five paragraphs. Th
...more
Grant
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Holy Crap, Batman, this book is awesome! Until I read this book, I had no idea I hung around with, and seemed to attract, amateurs. At times, I drank their kool-aid and listened to their whiney belly-ache about how, "someday we ought to _______," and in retrospect, the too many times I bought into the procrastination and justification of, "Wouldn't it be great if we could _________."

But Pressfield hit a nerve when he said you'll know the day you turn pro...and I can verify that statement when I
...more
Simo Ibourki
Jun 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: self-help
I don't really know what to think of this book.

If I could summary the book it would be like this "look at me, I'm a pro, here is what a pro should be, philosophy, meaningless personal anecdotes, pro is great I swear".

This book has nothing of value, it doesn't really help you to turn into a pro, it just talks about how cool is it to be a pro.
...more
Jonathan K (Plot & Characters Matter)
On par with the War of Art, Steve enlightens readers about the vast difference between those that 'try' aka amateur, and those that are professionals. Focus, regimen, acknowledging what we resist and countless other tools are shared. Whether a writer, teacher, sales exec or parent, the principle are universal much as the elements of resistance in War of Art. A great read from an amazing author. ...more
Mikell
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Turning Pro may be a quick read, but it will quickly get to the core of suppressed dreams and unfulfilled passions. If you are an artist or writer who doesn't draw or write, this may be just what you need to face and own your talents and calling. If you are a musician who doesn't play or sing, or an entrepreneur who will write that business plan tomorrow, this book may well give you the not necessarily gentle nudge you need to Turn Pro. Now.

Pressfield makes clear distinctions between the amateu
...more
Aaron Wolfson
This book literally kicked my ass. OK, maybe not literally, but this book contains urgency, man. It's like Pressfield is standing over every would-be artist exhorting, "Fight! Write! Create! Grow!" Starting this book is power, and finishing it is life-changing if you want it to be. ...more
Chris
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own
Pressfield concludes his trilogy of works designed to hurtle you past your fear and into becoming the person you want to be. (Part one: "The War of Art"; Part two: "Do The Work") In each successive book, Pressfield pulls the camera further out, revealing more landscape. "The War of Art" is designed to teach you how to fight what he calls Resistance (aka fear, anxiety, avoidance, self-sabotage) and get started on your life's goals. "Do The Work" pulls out from there, detailing specific strategies ...more
Rory Lynch
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I finally made the link - The Resistance is the Lizard, talked about by Seth Godin in Linchpin. It's the safe (emotional, physical, financial, or other) decision that protects you from real failure by stopping you from ever really trying.

Anyway, this book is everything I liked about The War of Art, without the bits I didn't like. It's more practical, more detailed, includes more examples, and has less voodoo-spirituality and meandering philosophising (though not none; an appropriate amount of m
...more
Emma Sea
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback, i-own-it
I don't know how long this stuff sticks with me, but every time I read one of Pressfield's books I feel like I could do anything. ...more
Juan Araizaga
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
7 days and 148 pages after. This book was a direct recommendation from someone who quickly became a mentor for me. So I had great expectations about it.

The book is about how transform yourself into a pro, because you are a amateur right now.

All the book I was expecting that the book explain how to be a pro, and that never happen... at least not very clear. The book is about habits, is about what you should do or you shouldn't.

The issue with those kind of books is that wants to show you that you
...more
Josh Wilks
May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Just read this after the art of war. Took a couple hours and was time well spent. So many sections highlighted!!

My favourite:

- The amateur believes that she must have all her ducks in a row before she can launch her start-up or compose her symphony or design her iPhone app. The professional knows better.
- Has your husband just walked out on you? Has your El Dorado been repossessed?
- Keep writing.
- Keep composing.
- Keep shooting film.
- Athletes play hurt. Warriors fight scared.
- The profess
...more
Adrian Alvarez
Sep 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
Ugh. I don't normally read these kinds of books but after the third recommendation I decided to give this one a chance. It wasn't written for me.

I have little patience for pop psychology and even less for self-aggrandizement. This book has both, exclusively. Don't quote your own work. Say something new or quote someone else and say something new about the quote. The ideas in this book couldn't fill a leaflet and the ones that are here are completely undeveloped.

If you like watching infomercial
...more
Yusuf Refay
Jul 04, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2022
HOW YOUR MIND CHANGES WHEN YOU TURN PRO
Turning pro is like kicking a drug habit or stopping drinking. It's a decision, a decision to which we must recommit every day.
Twelve-step programs say "One Day at a Time." The professional says the same thing.
Each day, the professional understands, he will wake up facing the same demons, the same Resistance, the same self-sabotage, and the same tendencies to shadow activities and amateurism that he has always faced.
The difference is that now he will not yi
...more
Tjitte
May 18, 2022 rated it did not like it
This book really struck a nerve with me. So much so, that I decided to write my first review on Goodreads. It's rated 4.15 on Goodreads and I guess that is not unrelated to the fact that we've created a world where the masses are looking for quick 'success' without truly having their personal philosophy of what success actually means.

**Summary of the three parts of his book**
It started off interesting, with this notion of a "shadow career." I think it's an adequate metaphor for the jobs and live
...more
Achraf Lemghari
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Simple and elegant.
Eve
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The beginning and the end were strong. It had sections I would rate 3 star that felt more lazy and unfinished than deliberately polished and concise, and other sections that I’d rate as 5 star or more that were power-packed and zinged with truth like electricity running through me. Overall, I think I liked the War of Art more in some ways, but I loved the parts of Turning Pro that were autobiographical.
I agree with much of it; I disagree with putting work above all else, including human relatio
...more
Farnoosh Brock
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business-spirit
Turning Pro: The symphony that creative soul is hungry for. So, so good!

By creative, we don't mean just the arts. By creative, we mean anyone who sets out to create a life outside of the normal path, without a map or guidebook. Turning Pro is about taking the amateur self, looking it in the eye, and deciding that enough is enough. We are now doing this and we're doing it damn well too. We are reaching the upper realms not through addiction or avoidance or distractions, but through Labor and Lov
...more
Gillian Kevern
Turning Pro is concise, well-written and well argued. It came to me highly recommended by artists and professionals I respect a lot. I expected to find it useful. Right now as I read it, I'm encountering a speed bump on my writing journey and was looking for help overcoming it. Turning Pro sounded like just what I needed.

Instead, I found myself exasperated. Despite its conciseness, Pressfield makes his point, and then repeats it six times from six slightly different angles to make sure you get
...more
Michael Koby
Mar 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Some people have a serious dislike for this book. I can understand that. Some of their complaints are warranted. I haven't read "The War of Art" yet so I don't have that as a judge to go on. I have read "Do the Work" (which seems to be greatly disliked as well), but rather enjoyed that book.

This books seems to be very straight and to the point. Yes, the chapters are short. Yes there is a one sentence chapter. But good writing is in brevity. If an author can get their point across in a single sen
...more
Stefan Knapen
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book, especially after reading the War of Art a year before. The distinction between amateur and pro is very clearly made by Pressfield and in making this distinction he gives a very clear image of what it means to overcome your amateurism and what it means to turn pro.

I especially liked the quotes about how the amateurs has a million plans, which all start tomorrow and how the amateurs tweets, while the pro works. I especially like this as this feels how it is to me. Right now I
...more
Traci Andrighetti
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Turning Pro is an important book for anyone who wants to be a professional writer. Pressfield urges would-be writers to stop living as amateurs and turn professional by overcoming resistance and practicing self-discipline. The part of the book that was particularly compelling for me was the notion that many of us have "shadow careers," which Pressfield defines as a career that is similar to our true calling but much safer because it entails no real risk. To turn pro, you have to abandon your sha ...more
Kony
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another blog-post collection parading as a book! This one grew on me, though. Offers the same wisdom you'll find in any book designed to motivate creators to create, but puts an original spin on the classic advice by playing with some interesting concepts and analogies: art as addiction, amateur as unrealized professional, certain "day jobs" as shadow professions. While I'm not sure if I completely buy the author's "amateur vs. professional" dichotomy, it's certainly thought provoking and contai ...more
Katja Riya
The endless repeating idea during the whole book : pro is cool, amateur sucks.
I'm pro, I'm cool, my friends and you're not - you suck, you need to become pro asap.
And endless blahblahblah who's pro and what she should do, leaving readers with the hope of explanation of what's it and how to become pro but it never really happens.

You can find some ideas about pro habits at the end of a book, it might be useful, but not really mind-blowing ideas, just some ordinary stuff everybody knows.

But the who
...more
Gee Greenslade
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can't love this book more. I simply had to buy it for my closest artist friends and daily I read a chapter out of it to keep the art life alive. when I went to artschool I was desperately looking for a reason or a meaning for why I loved art so much and why it was useful. I found no answers but the final chapter summed it up so beautifully for me I feel that question is finally answered. A perfect book. ...more
Aaron Goldfarb
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not *quite* as good, though a terrific follow-up to THE WAR OF ART, which, just like ART, I'll be re-reading and re-reading for the rest of time. (Though I doubt I'll beat up this ebook edition as much as I beat up my paperback edition of the previous.) ...more
Leonard
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I was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943 to a Navy father and mother.

I graduated from Duke University in 1965.

In January of 1966, when I was on the bus leaving Parris Island as a freshly-minted Marine, I looked back and thought there was at least one good thing about this departure. "No matter what happens to me for the rest of my life, no one can ever send me back to this freakin' place a
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