Start thinking (and working) like a Pro

I’m a dedicated, selective Super Soul Sunday watcher. I choose the shows and guests that resonate the most with my soul and I record and rewatch those shows as often as possible. Some of my favorite guests are Brene Brown, Steven Pressfield, Gary Zukav, Jean Houston, Karen Armstrong, Eben Alexander, and Steven Pressfield. They each have unique insights, and I try to incorporate those insights into my own life, little bits at a time.

One of those insights comes from Steven Pressfield, and his book The War of Art. He offers a new approach to “doing what you love.” This is where I started looking at my fiction writing career in a new light. He talks about “resistance,” and the valuable place of fear in our work. The more resistance I feel as I try to follow my passion, and the more fear I feel as I begin to work towards my goals, the more I realize that I’m on the right path.

This is contrary to what I was taught growing up, as I had learned to resist fear, avoid fear, to FEAR fear. That’s not necessary. According to Pressfield, I should just go through the fear and break down the mental resistance to what I’m trying to achieve.

The main piece of advice I’ve taken away from The War of Art is to start thinking like a pro instead of an amateur. I write everyday like authors do and I research and take notes and study my craft, and actually do the work. Fear has held me back all this time. I’m pushing through and turning pro.

Here are some of my favorite Pressfield quotes:

“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.”
Steven Pressfield

“Fear doesn’t go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

“We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Do you think using fear as a passion indicator is the right way to go? What steps will you take in 2014 to help you go pro with your passion?

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Jammie HeadJammie Kern is the author of several Buzz Teen Titles and blogs at Jammie Kern.


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