I was reading the book Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield (who also wrote The War of Art) the other day when I came across a passage that resonated with me so strongly that I had to share it.
Those of us who have chosen to live unpredictable the life of the solo entrepreneur – authors, musicians, artists, podcasters and other creatives – can’t help but wonder why in the hell we chose such a life where the future is so uncertain. In the chapter entitled “My Years in the Wilderness,” Pressfield put it thusly:
“Because there are no conventional rewards, I was forced to ask myself, Why am I doing this? Am I crazy? All my friends are making money and settling down and living normal lives. What the hell am I doing? Am I nuts? What’s wrong with me?”
“In the end I answered the question by realizing that I had no choice. I couldn’t do anything else. When I tried, I got so depressed I couldn’t stand it. So when I wrote yet another novel or screenplay that I couldn’t sell, I had no choice but to write another one after that….the work became, in its own demented way a practice. It sustained me, and it sustains me still.”
This passage certainly answered that long-burning question for me — perhaps for you as well?
By the way, Turning Pro is an excellent little book aimed at creatives about moving from amateur to professional. Lots of excellent tidbits and advice.