Day 65 Reporting – 2,024 Words/Day Process Log – Turning Pro

Today, something told me to dig out my old eBook copy of Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield. He’s also the author of The War of Art. Both books talk about resistance – the thing that keeps us from the page.

Just like the book The War of Art, most of the chapters are no longer than 2 pages long. The entire book actually can probably be read in an hour even though it’s not supposed to be. I say that it’s not supposed to be because this is an idea book, a book that is meant for the reader to come back to, to read and think about and then read again.

It’s about the decision to take yourself and your art seriously. The amateur finds excuses not to write. The pro shows up to the page. The amateur quits at the first sign of defeat. The pro perseveres. The amateur is waiting for outside validation to tell her who she is. The pro decides that she’s a pro and moves accordingly.

It should not be surprising that I’ve also picked back up one of two books my dad recommended I read. The first is The Spook Who Sat By The Door. The second is The Goal. I’m sure you haven’t heard of either book. The first my dad used a playbook for how he made it through corporate America being the first Black person in a professional role at a manufacturing plant in Atlanta in the 1970s. The second is about manufacturing. But it’s really not about manufacturing. It’s about the goal.

The goal is non-negotiable. It’s a sentence he kept saying over and over again. Tactics can change. Processes can change. Procedures? Malleable. But the goal does not change.

So why in the world am I thinking about these two books? Professionalism is the goal. Professionalism is showing up, working on craft, finishing stories, acting like a professional every day. Alex Hormozi said that if you judge yourself by other people’s standards eventually, you’re gonna run into a roadblock. You would have achieved what other people deem as success and then you won’t have anywhere else to go. You should just focus on becoming the best version of yourself.

So, the question I want to ask myself at the end of the day is – Knowing what I could have done today with the constraints of the day, judging myself against myself, how did I do? And then the next day, wake up and do the same thing.

I’m sure I’ll come back to this concept because I’m still trying to figure it all out. For now, I like the idea of turning pro. It’s what suits how I feel about writing right now.

Keep moving forward. Keep getting better.

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As of Day 65, – 3/5/24

# of Words I Wrote/# of Words Written To Be on Track/Year Goal

123,135 / 131,560 / 740,784

About Irette Y Patterson

Irette Y Patterson is a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and romance. She has been published in FIYAH, Strange Horizons, Translunar Travelers Lounge and on the website of The Saturday Evening Post. When not writing, you can find her digging around in her garden or catching the latest musical in the theater.
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