Steven Pressfield is one of my favorite authors. In addition to novels, he also writes a lot about writing. The craft, the profession, the struggle. I found Steven in 2001 when I was flat on my back recovering from a spinal fusion. I’d never been much of a reader and I don’t recall how I stumbled across Gates of Fire, but it transported me.
Others may be more familiar with his novel/movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance, or especially for writers, The War of Art, and Do the Work, and more recently, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t; Why That Is and What You Can Do About It.
As a narrator of audiobooks, I find Steven’s lessons learned both instructive and inspiring, as I believe any artist will. He doesn’t pull punches. And the perspective he illuminates is clear, honest, and sobering.
I’m reblogging Steven’s current series from stevenpressfield.com in support of the community I’m building around writers, audiobook narrators, and book bloggers. All of us who love storytelling, whether we write, read, tell, or talk about the story will resonate with his candor, his nuggets of professional advice and craftsmanship, and find a virtual mentor in Steven Pressfield.
Why I Write, Part One
By STEVEN PRESSFIELD | Published: SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | Source: Writing Wednesdays: Why I Write, Part One
I stumbled onto the website of a novelist I had never heard of. (He’s probably never heard of me either.) What I saw there got me thinking.
What if we worked our whole life and never sold a single painting? The site was excellent. It displayed all fourteen of the novelist’s books in “cover flow” format. They looked great. A couple had been published by HarperCollins, several others by Random House. The author was the real deal, a thoroughgoing pro with a body of work produced over decades.
Somehow I found myself thinking, What if this excellent writer had never been published?
Would we still think of him as a success?
(In other words, I started pondering the definition of “success” for a writer.)
Suppose, I said to myself … suppose this writer had written all these novels, had had their covers designed impeccably, had their interiors laid out to the highest professional standards.
Suppose he could never find a publisher.
Suppose he self-published all fourteen of his novels.
Suppose his books had found a readership of several hundred, maybe a thousand or two. But never more.
Suppose he had died with that as the final tally.
Would we say he had “failed?”
Would we declare his writing life a waste?” more […]