I love Steven Pressfield. Last month I recommend his book The War of Art and this month I am recommending Do the Work. Here’s why I like him. I’ll be honest, I’m a slow slow reader. Especially when it involves non-fiction. Tiny books will take me weeks. Steven’s books are relatively short and packed with incredibly relevant information for the creative. They are motivational and they offer practical advice on how to push through any creative roadblocks. The War of Art dealt with the concepts of the Resistance and creativity, and Do the Work gives you a play-by-play for how to fight Resistance and finish whatever project you’ve got your heart set on. You will face obstacles. If you’re doing anything worth a damn, you will enter the belly of the beast at some point along the way. He’s giving you/us a roadmap. There are a lot of books about this, I’m sure, but his seem to be the most concise and easy to digest. That way I don’t spend months reading a 300 page book about ‘doing the work’. Just read this short one and then go and DO THE WORK.
It’s just a Steven Pressfield kind of month. I confess I only found out about this podcast because of Ash (she seriously is my resource for the best shit that’s out there). But it was incredible. I love James’ very go-with-the-flow style of podcasting. And Steven … man I could listen to him talk for hours. They kind of ramble for a bit, but then close in on the idea of what it is to be the hero of your own story. What that looks like and what that journey is. And also discuss how some people never quite become the hero of their own story and why. But the biggest thing that stood out to me is hearing Steven admit he had no clue if he had anything worth writing or anything important to say when he first listened to the call to become a writer. It felt like a weight was lifted from my chest. This has been the biggest question my beast (the Resistance) has asked me. What do you think you have to say? And my answer is … I don’t know yet. It was relieving to hear someone I admire and respect and believe in confess that he had no fucking clue either. For me, this is a kale smoothie because it speaks to my soul about what I want to keep pursuing. It might not resonate that deeply with you, but it’s definitely worth a listen regardless.