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Turning Pro

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,610 Ratings  ·  236 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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Yuri Karabatov
May 17, 2014 Yuri Karabatov 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
J.F. Penn
Jun 17, 2012 J.F. Penn 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
Dec 25, 2012 Grant 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
Ryan Holiday
Jun 22, 2012 Ryan Holiday 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
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
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.
Mar 12, 2014 Mikell 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
I didn't think Pressfield could get more kick-ass about making art after the WAR OF ART and DO THE WORK, but he did. Like the other two, the book's premise is all about beating that insidious force of Resistance that plagues all of us, sapping our will to compose, write, play, and otherwise make art.

You may think at first glance that Pressfield is treading familiar water after two other books on resisting Resistance to make art. He is, but each book in his 'making art' canon can be looked at as
Apr 26, 2013 Chris 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
Traci Andrighetti
Oct 02, 2013 Traci Andrighetti 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
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
Aaron Goldfarb
Jun 14, 2012 Aaron Goldfarb 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.)
Emma Sea
Jun 22, 2015 Emma Sea 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.
Jul 10, 2015 Nela rated it it was amazing
Tremendous respect for Steven Pressfield. This book gets down to the core of what we must focus on to become a Level 10 person, the best version of ourselves. It takes guts, strength, stripping to your most naked self, raw, unadorned, but courageous. It's not for the weak. It's hard work. But by God, you understand (or try your damnedest) that your life must serve a purpose. I felt pure joy reading his book, and I was shocked how much he struck me to my core. No wonder Pressfield was named honor ...more
Sarah-Lambert Cook
Nov 16, 2013 Sarah-Lambert Cook rated it really liked it
"Turning Pro" was much better than the previous book I'd read by Steven Pressfield, the War of Art. For me, the War of Art illustrated (very well) the battle between inspiration and resistance, but although it had me often nodding in agreement, it never felt like it really gave enough about how to overcome it. "Turning Pro" isn't like that. This book does not promise to show you how to "break through your creative blocks." Instead, "Turning Pro" merely illustrates the change in an artist (an art ...more
Chris Johnson
Aug 04, 2012 Chris Johnson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-books
What a book.
I've been fortunate that I've really liked almost every book i have read. I generally put down the books I don't finish. With few exceptions (ahem, Generation X: Tales From an Accelerated Culture) there seems to be no profit in really talking about a bad book. I can champion good books, and this one is amazing.
I'm an addict. No, I've not been the kind of dude that's gone on a coke bender or had a string of DUIs, but I've got that addictive personality. I had to beat World of Warcraft
Sep 28, 2015 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Steven Pressfield is an accomplished novelist, and this book contains his ideas on the difference between amateurs and professionals in art and vocation. It is an internal difference and has nothing to do with pay. This is a book I enjoy reading and re-reading because his ideas are timeless and always applicable.
Kristen Otte
Jan 22, 2013 Kristen Otte rated it liked it
Turning Pro is a short book for creatives who are looking to make it, to become a professional writer, artist, musician, etc. Turning Pro is essentially a followvup to Pressfield's The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles. The War of Art focuses on Resistance - or what stops us from pursuing our call to write. In this book, he revisits the resistance theme and takes it further, listing qualities and attributes of a professional. The last 1/3 of the book is w ...more
Matthew Trinetti
May 03, 2014 Matthew Trinetti rated it it was amazing
Steven Pressfield's books (non-fiction at least) are like old best friends -- always there for you, call it like it is, and tell you what you need (not want) to hear.

Pressfield has an incredible way of calling things by their name -- complicated things that feel so hard to pin point, define, and explain. He did it with War of Art, and he did it again with Turning Pro. I recommend this as a follow up to War of Art...when you're ready (you're probably ready).
Mark Stuart
Jun 16, 2012 Mark Stuart rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Surpassing it's predecessor, The War of Art, although covering essentially the same subject matter, Steven has delivered an unabashed and honest treatment of our plight as participants in the creative process; our struggle against resistance and distraction; towards authenticity and true personal productive power. Turning Pro is concise, humane, insightful, and compelling.

Whenever my energy for professional or personal projects wanes and I lose my direction I shall reread Turning Pro, and be re
Lance Schaubert
In “The War of Art,” Pressfield destroyed our every creative setback through a threefold process: defining the enemy Resistance, how Professionals combat the spikes of resistance, and the Divine Inspiration that’s attracted, that’s magnetized towards the disciplines professionals invoke to war against the resistance in their lives. In “Turning Pro,” he further defines the characteristics behind professionalism. Which means you, artist, need this book. You, entrepreneur, needs this book. You, mak ...more
Livio Dinaj
Feb 11, 2015 Livio Dinaj rated it really liked it
The addict is interesting because the addiction glimpses a deeper calling, but ultimately, all that potential is channeled into fueling addiction, which by itself is extremely boring.

Really spectacular value for the amount of words in the book. Goes more indepth while barely repeating the concepts of The War of Art. Everyone who reads this book will identify with at least some of the concepts. This book deals less in resistance, and more of the mindsets of someone who is an "amateur", and someo
Jacqui Allen
May 30, 2014 Jacqui Allen rated it really liked it
Shelves: plan-to-re-read
This was the final in a trilogy of Steven Pressfield books that I read to push me into becoming a pro (and leaving the amateur life behind). This book was a useful final book which discusses the traits, attitudes and behaviours of being a pro. I will definitely re-read it when I feel I am languishing in the future.

I have not stopped thinking about the section on living a shadow life/career as I can see this in myself and so many people - living something close to what you want but doing so beca
André Bueno
Turning Pro is not easy but it is a primal part of our genetic makeup. We grow up scared to pursue what we are truly passionate about so many of us choose to buy into the resistance and pursue a shadow calling. A shadow calling is simply a career that somewhat resembles what they really wanted to do but is still not the same thing. Turning pro means growing up, picking better habits, and learning to rechannel your addictive behaviors (addiction to failure, addiction to being lazy, etc.)

Turning p
Arminda Lindsay
Do the Work profoundly impacted me and when a colleague encouraged me to read Turning Pro I started immediately. I love Pressfield's writing style: he does not mince words so every word matters. Reading the book took me less than two hours. Processing what I just read might take me a lifetime. I've already recommended to a couple of clients and keep referencing specific passages that created personal insights. What might this book do for you? If you're wavering between what you want versus what ...more
Gee Greenslade
Oct 05, 2013 Gee Greenslade 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.
Mary Louise
His best book for plenty of surprising reasons. I wondered how he could top The War of Art, but alas, he has. If you're looking for a MFA gatekeepery type defense, you'll be disapointed. Instead, this book is brimming with compassion, and since Pressfield has survived his own personal war with art, there's plenty of great nonfiction storytelling here. In my Kindle, on my desktop. 'Nuf said.
Abhay Verma
Jan 17, 2016 Abhay Verma rated it liked it
''Athletes play hurt. Warriors fight scared.''
Turning pro is a collection of anecdotes around the subject of the amateur and the professional, giving the author's views on what we need to do (through examples from his own life) to ''turn pro'', or find our life's calling.

For the first few pages, I wasn't sure how i felt about the book.
I mean sure, it's a creative piece by someone publishing a novel, but is this really supposed to help someone bring about a drastic change in their lives, and find
James Kuiken
Feb 18, 2015 James Kuiken rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
This is a great book to read if you are serious about Turning Pro as a writer. When I first started reading it, I was under the impression that it may be “The War of Art” lite, but it’s not – and if read together it may seem that this book may the Cliff’s Notes version, but it is actually a stand-alone book.

While The War of Art is applicable to almost any artistic endeavor, or for that matter, pretty much any endeavor in life (see my review), Turning Pro seems to be more focused on writing. The
Tyler Hurst
Jun 26, 2012 Tyler Hurst rated it it was amazing
Pretty goddamn awesome. Seriously, I loved it, probably more than Do The Work and maybe even more than War Of Art.

It's streamlined, easily digestible in a short sitting and left me feeling pretty damn good.

But am I willing to make the sacrifices necessary when turning pro? I know friends that have.

It's time, though. Past time.
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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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“The amateur dreads becoming who she really is because she fears that this new person will be judged by others as "different." The tribe will declare us "weird" or "queer" or "crazy." The tribe will reject us. Here's the truth: the tribe doesn't give a shit. There is no tribe. That gang or posse that we imagine is sustaining us by the bonds we share is in fact a conglomeration of individuals who are just as fucked up as we are and just as terrified. Each individual is so caught up in his own bullshit that he doesn't have two seconds to worry about yours or mine, or to reject or diminish us because of it. When we truly understand that the tribe doesn't give a damn, we're free. There is no tribe, and there never was. Our lives are entirely up to us.” 7 likes
“To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence.” 6 likes
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