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Turning Pro

I have published two books, written hundreds of articles, and have been featured on some on some of the largest websites in the world.

Yet I still struggle to call myself a writer.

The reason is quite simple.

Writers…write. And they write consistently – as in daily. In this respect, writing is no different than any other occupation or hobby.

If you’re a weightlifter, you lift weights consistently.

If you’re a baseball player, you play baseball consistently.

If you’re a runner, you run consistently.

But when it comes to the creation of something – writing, painting, drawing, entrepreneurship – consistency seems more difficult to come by.

It’s in these creative pursuits that we regularly encounter what author Steven Pressfield calls “the Resistance.”

As described in his book The War of Art,

Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.

And so you see why after publishing hundreds of thousands of words for the world to see, I still struggle to call myself a writer.

I’m afraid.

I’m afraid that my words don’t matter. I’m afraid that I have nothing to say. And I’m afraid of the inevitable “haters” that are inherent with success.

In short, I have succumbed to the Resistance too often for too long to draw any sort of conclusion that I’m a writer. My words have been sporadic and printed in droves. A book here. A string of published posts there.

But they’re followed by silence. And when a writer goes silent that void is palpable to the reader, but it’s deafening to the one with the pen.

To be a writer, one must write. And to write, one must face the fear of rejection and irrelevance daily.

My battle is not with the skill of writing or with finding a platform of people to read it. My battle is with my deepest, darkest insecurities that show themselves in my own inaction.

500 Words is my attempt to change my narrative. It’s my attempt to turn pro, another term borrow from Pressfield – one that represents the moment in time when we stop letting the Resistance win and start taking action on pursuing the truest version of ourselves.

Much like an addiction, the first step to beating the Resistance is recognizing it.

I’ve recognized it during every single agonizing stretch of months on end with my words being trapped between my ears, unable to meet the Muse at the table where Resistance has no seat.

I leave us with another quote from The War of Art – one that presents both the problem and the solution.

Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance.

To my biggest foe – the tables are turning.

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