Going Pro

If you read my last blog, you know that I am battling resistance. Today it has taken on many forms, from errands to housework to the season finale of “Smash.” And now it has gelled into writer’s block. I have several ideas,  each of which has some merit, but none of which takes me past the opening sentence. I type. Backspace. Type. Backspace. My stomach is all bunched up, and I feel trapped.

But at least I am in the chair, fingers on keys, right?

According to Steven Pressfield, that is what it is to be a pro. The professional goes to work every day, whether or not she feels like it or has other things to do.

The professional also knows that fear is part of the job , while the amateur thinks that she must first overcome fear before getting down to business. So I am not letting fear — that this blog will be no good, or that no one will read it, or that people will read it but find it uninteresting or self-indulgent —  stop me from working on it. My job is to write about things that interest me and that might be of service to others.

According to Pressfield, adopting a professional attitude helps us distance ourselves from our work in a crucial way. Where the amateur is so overly identified with his work that he never can allow himself to create for fear of failure, the pro wades right in, knowing that if she does her job, even if she fails, she will be back at it the next day.

It is sometimes tempting for me to treat my work as an avocation, rather than a profession. Working at home in our guest-room-slash-office means I am vulnerable to distraction and easily pulled off task by the housework, bills, etc. If I am to get anything done, I must erect and respect boundaries around my work time.

So, lest there be any doubt, I am declaring it here: I am a professional. You can find me in my office.