The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.
The professional tackles the project that will make him stretch. He takes on the assignment that will bear him into uncharted waters, compel him to explore unconscious parts of himself.
Do you understand? I hadn't written anything good. It might be years before I would, if I ever did at all. That didn't matter. What counted was that I had, after years of running from it, actually sat down and done my work.
My friend Tony Keppelman snapped me out of it by asking if I was gonna quit. Hell, no! "Then be happy. You're where you wanted to be, aren't you? So you're taking a few blows. That's the price for being in the arena and not on the sidelines. Stop complaining and be grateful." That was when I realized I had become a pro.
A pro views her work as craft, not art. Not because she believes art is devoid of a mystical dimension. On the contrary. She understands that all creative endeavor is holy, but she doesn't dwell on it. She knows if she thinks about that too much, it will paralyze her. So she concentrates on technique. The professional masters how, and leaves what and why to the gods.
Note: This is pretty cool, thinking about the how and the method. That’s helpful. But there’s a point at which that gets to really be resistance too, when it goes abstract beyond the craft behind the actual work.
The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.