In this video I discuss Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art and his newer book “Nobody wants to read your shit.” I agree with Steven on so many things, and our actually method of creative production, as he reveals in the second book, is:
1) Universal story-telling basics (plotting and story architecture)
2) Creativity as a gift to be shared (writing for readers rather than “writerly self-indulgence”
3) Overcoming resistance
However, since most authors and creativity have ONLY read the War of Art, and because Steven writes that considering the market is “prostitution” and if you think about earning a living with your writing “you’re a hack” most authors SKIP the crucial first two steps.
Even worse, when full-time authors who are actually, successfully, making a living with a writing, give them an easy and simple process to write books that sell, they think it’s “selling out” or failing somehow (even though it’s easy to write books that sell on purpose and make tons of money, as Steven admits in the War of Art, it’s also “sacrilegious” and “blasphemy.”
Of course, this is why most authors refuse to study story architecture or consider the market, follow their muse, publish shit nobody wants to read and feel like failed and frustrated artists (and consequently need to read Steven’s 2nd book to figure out what went wrong).
In other words, Steven has all the right pieces, but the order is inverted, and his blanket condemnation of writing to market is not only self-contradictory, but essentially harmful to all creatives (who should be focused on creating work that actually matters – if nobody gives a shit about your work, it doesn’t matter how inspired you were or how much passion you have for your project. If it doesn’t matter to anyone else, it’s not art.)
ALSO – sidenote, writing to market means you will intend to get better and improve the quality of every book you finish, because you have specific goals and measures; that means it will get easier and faster to write BETTER books, rather than just guessing and improvising and starting from scratch every time.