Last weekend I read ‘The Art of War’ by Steven Pressfield (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1319.The_War_of_Art). It was both a kick in the butt and inspiration.
I recognised everything he had to say about the ‘Resistance’, which is that part of you that prefers to keep things the old way. The part of you that convinces you to just watch one more episode of … fill in the blank. And the part of you that convinces you that you’re never going to make it as a writer anyway. Why would you? There are thousands of people out there better equipped than you, better adapt at writing, more disciplined, etc etc.
The Resistance is very strong in me. It sounds like Star Wars, but no, it’s not a good thing. For years I’ve listened to it. Every day. I’ve quit writing for longer periods, because ‘the right story hadn’t come to me’. Little did I know that true inspiration is something you need to go looking for, that doesn’t just come to you while watching TV and playing video games if you’re never close to any sheet of paper. So yeah, I was feeling pretty good about myself so far. I’ve been fighting my procrastination habits, been writing at least once a week.
Yeah, once a week. Pressfield distinguishes between amateurs and pros. Guess which one I belong to in his definition? I’m a full-blown amateur. I don’t show up for work every day. I mean, I do with my day job, but not with my writing profession. After a long day’s work, I usually think: I’m too tired to write now. Nothing good will come of it. I have no inspiration (still). That he classified me as an amateur bothered me. A lot.
The past year I’ve been taking my writing more and more seriously. I have now published seven stories and am going to make this my full-time profession. Why am I not making this my number-one priority? I’m slightly afraid it’s still Resistance. Maybe my writing is good enough, but I have zero to none marketing skills. How can I sell books? Where do I get reviews? It’s never going to work anyway.
But here I am now. After a long and tiresome day at work I’m writing this post. I even wrote 300 words to my story. I updated my Twitter. I am working as a Pro. Last weekend I made the decision: from full-time Amateur to full-time Pro.