The Artist’s Journey

Steven Pressfield

The Wake of the Hero's Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning

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 home to Ithaca, to the place from which we started.

What then?

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

—Steven Pressfield

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The Artist’s Journey [is] an essential compass, road map and kick in the pants.”

- Seth Godin, best-selling author and entrepreneur

ABOUT

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 home 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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steven Pressfield

If you're a reader of www.stevenpressfield.com, you already know more about Steve than his own family. So in lieu of a conventional bio, here are a few fun facts: 1. Steve and Shawn Coyne first met in 1998, when Shawn as an editor at Doubleday made an offer on Steve's historical novel Gates of Fire. Shawn was the only editor in New York to do so. Gates has gone on to sell more than a million copies. 2. It was Shawn who came up with the title, The War of Art, when his indie publishing house, Rugged Land, published the book in 2002. (Steve's title was The Writer's Life.) 3. The first person fired off the movie version of Steve's novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was Steve himself. The film's producer, multi-Oscar-winner Jake Eberts, phoned Steve to inform him that the director, Robert Redford, had a writer of his own that he wanted to work with. Steve thanked Jake sincerely and profusely, explaining that this was the first time he had ever been fired off a project, where the individual doing the firing had the good manners to actually inform him of that fact—instead of Steve having to read about it in the trades. 4. Steve's literary agent for Bagger Vance (who also made the deal for Steve's latest novel, 36 Righteous Men, coming in 2019 from W.W. Norton) is Sterling Lord of Sterling Lord Literistic. Sterling is ninety-eight years old and going strong. In 1948 he made the original deal for Jack Kerouac's On the Road—for $900.

What They're Saying

The Artist’s Journey builds upon The War of Art and its two sequels—Do the Work and Turning Pro. One of the most eye-opening insights in the new book is the fact that the hero’s journey described by Joseph Campbell is not a culmination, but rather the starting point for the artist’s journey. The struggles of the former clarify our purpose and give us the strength and the courage we need to pursue the latter. Steve says: ‘The artist’s journey is the process of self-discovery that follows [the hero’s journey]. It will last as long as we are alive, and maybe longer.'”

- Joe Tye, "America's Values Coach"

“Wherever you are, whatever you’ve been called to make . . . You need to read this book.”

- Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of The Ego is the Enemy