Pulling the Pin with Steven Pressfield (Ep. 390)

If you’ve ever tried to write a book, or launch a podcast, or sell a TV show, or compose an original melody, or paint a portrait, or ever embarked upon any other creative endeavor, I’ll bet you’ve felt frustrated at some point. Or maybe, discouraged, or depressed. Or maybe you’ve felt like an imposter, as I often do.

I learned to fight that feeling about 20 years ago, when I read a terrific book called The War of Art, by an amazing author named Steven Pressfield. This book has impacted the lives of countless authors and aspiring artists, and I can recommend it without hesitation to anyone who has ever encountered Resistance, (with a capital R) in any of its many forms, and struggled to overcome it.

Aside from my mother, I know of no other writer who has paid their dues so completely and with such gratitude. Along the way to becoming a bestselling author many times over, Steven worked as an advertising copywriter, schoolteacher, tractor-trailer driver, bartender, oilfield roustabout, attendant in a mental hospital, fruit-picker in Washington state, and as screenwriter. He eventually got famous with titles like The Legend of Bagger Vance, Do the Work, Turning Pro, and Gates of Fire, which detailed the battle of Thermopylae.

In so many ways, Steven’s life is a reflection of The SWEAT Pledge, and talking to him reminded me that there is really no substitute for work ethic. You can tell we’re on the same page, by the titles of his most recent books. Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit: Why That Is and What You Can Do About It, The Artist’s Journey: The Wake of the Hero’s Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning, Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be, and his most recent, Government Cheese, a fantastic memoir which I’m halfway through, and would have finished already, if I weren’t spending every day flogging my new movie. (https://somethingtostandfor.movie/.)

Our entire conversation is here.  A short clip is below. I doubt you’ll learn more about life from listening to any other writer. Enjoy.

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