The Artist’s Journey

The Wake of the Hero's Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning
by Steven Pressfield | 192 pages

This is Steven Pressfield’s 19th book. It’s the 10th book of his I’ve read and it’s the 4th book on which I’ve done a Note. As with all of his books, this one is written in his inimitable, pithy style. (In fact, as I consulted my dictionary for the precise definition of the word pithy, I realized just how much his style epitomizes that word. Pithy means “concise and forcefully expressive.” <- Exactly.) Big Ideas we explore include defining the artist's journey (vis-a-vis the hero's journey; note: we all live both journeys!!), our #1 job (say hello to your muse), the superconsciousness (shuttle back and forth!), destiny acorns (daimon meet genius), how to let your soul shine (hint: SHOW UP!), Jay-Z in his studio (enter: 10,000 micro hero's journeys), and: Ready or not (you're called!!).


“I have a theory about the Hero’s Journey. We all have one. We have many, in fact. But our primary hero’s journey is the passage we live out, in real life, before we find our calling. The hero’s journey ends when, like Odysseus, we return to Ithaca, to the place from which we started.

What then?

The passage that comes next is the Artist’s Journey.

On our artist’s journey, we move past Resistance and past self-sabotage. We discover our true selves and our authentic calling, and we produce the works we were born to create.

You are an artist too—whether you realize it or not, whether you like it or not—and you have an artist’s journey. Will you live it out? Will you follow your Muse and do the work you were born to do?

Ready or not, you are called.”

~ Steven Pressfield from The Artist’s Journey

This is Steven Pressfield’s 19th book. It’s the 10th book of his I’ve read and it’s the 4th book on which I’ve done a Note.

As I’ve said many times, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Steve and his work. We talk about him often (in our +1s, Notes and Creativity 101) because I consider him one of the world’s masters of the creative process. (I also very much enjoyed our inspiring breakfast and lunches in Santa Monica years ago. :)

And, I agree with Ryan Holiday’s recommendation on the front cover of this book. He says: “Wherever you are, whatever you’ve been called to make… You need to read this book.”

Speaking of the front cover, Steve’s publishing company always has fantastic, super-minimalistic designs with an iconic image to capture the essence of the book. For example, the icon on the cover of The War of Art is a flower growing out of a block of concrete. The icon on the cover of Do the Work is a pencil nub. The icon on the cover of Turning Pro is a lunch pail with a coffee thermos. (Those are the other books on which we have Notes, btw.)

The icon for the cover of this book? It’s a pair rugged, well-worn leather work/hiking boots. Perfect.

As with all of his books, this one is written in his inimitable, pithy style. (In fact, as I consulted my dictionary for the precise definition of the word pithy, I realized just how much his style epitomizes that word. Pithy means “concise and forcefully expressive.” <- Exactly.)

I loved this book and highly recommend it. (Get a copy here.) I’m excited to share a few of my favorite Ideas and help us apply the wisdom to our lives TODAY so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author

Authors

Steven Pressfield

American author of historical fiction, non-fiction, and screenplays.