Author Recommendation: Steven Pressfield

I discovered Steven Pressfield while watching a Joe Rogan podcast, I don’t remember which one, but I do remember him recommending The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I think it was a good podcast but if I spent hours listening to podcasts and all I did was discover that book then it would have been time well spent.

Sadly, I was on perhaps my eighth draft of my first novel and had lost a lot of time to procrastination. That said, the book certainly gave me a huge push to finish the project and I would have taken much longer without this book.

I am due to revisit it again and may have to make it a regular reading based on the elite level procrastination skills I possess.

The War of Art felt almost like a future me had sent it back knowing that it was exactly what I needed to read. I can’t recommend it enough. If you are feeling any internal resistance to produce something or make some positive changes in your life, I think you will find this book very helpful.

When I discover an author, I rank highly I tend to work my way through their back catalogue until I have read it all or I lose interest. I certainly did that with Steven, I didn’t read everything he’d written but that was due to my motivation to stop reading and start writing.

Next came Do the Work, it’s a book where the title really does give away the plot. Quite simply it’s a kick in the arse to get moving and once you do things happen. I seem to remember I did find the book a little repetitive but maybe that’s the point, just like a literary drill sergeant would repeat themselves to get you over some horrible obstacle.

If you need a kick, give it a read. I think reading it after The War of Art is a good suggestion.

Turning Pro was the next book I read and reading it so closely to the others a lot of the advice felt similar but with his books I would advise you revisit them from time to time. Turning Pro definitely helped me to view writing more like a job than a hobby, I am still not good with this because I have a full-time job that often keeps me very busy, and I self-publish. Reading this as I write it makes me feel like I should re-read the book.

Ultimately, I didn’t get as much from this as the others, but I feel like this may be the pace I read them and perhaps where I was with my writing. I am going to revisit it and may make an edit to this page.

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t came next and it’s almost as if he looked at my sales figures. If you are beginning out writing or in any creative endeavour then I think it’s important to keep this in mind, ‘If you build it, they will come’ has certainly not been my experience of self-publishing. This book is definitely worth a read, it didn’t give me the kick that his other work has but it still gave me plenty to think about.

The last Steven Pressfield book I read was The Warrior Ethos. Another good read and worth a look however for me it gave me less than his other books. I feel this may be due to me, where I was in my process and the pace I read his other works at. I still recommend this book, but it didn’t have the same kick as the earlier books.

Thanks to Amazon making it easy to see your past purchases I know the following:

War of Art was ordered on 16 May 2018

Do the Work and Turning Pro were ordered on 15 June 2018

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t was ordered on 23 June 2018

I published my book Salt on 3 August 2018

The Warrior Ethos was ordered on 8 January 2019

As you can see, I really did dive into his work and it was at a critical time for me in my last push to self-publishing. I spent several months of 2018 either read Steven Pressfield or working on my own novel.

Writing this post has made me feel the desire to read them all again because they all spoke to me in a different way and reflected different issues I faced at different stages of writing.

© 2021 David G Chambers. All rights reserved.

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