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

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  622 ratings  ·  71 reviews

"No one's insights about the craft and journey of being an artist have guided me in the day-to-day struggle of this profession more than Steven Pressfield. Wherever you are, whatever you've been called to make, you need to read this book...and everything else he has written."

— Ryan Holiday, Bestselling Author of Ego Is the Enemy and The Obstacle Is the Way


Kindle Edition, 165 pages
Published July 11th 2018 by Black Irish Entertainment LLC
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 ·  622 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Patrick Sherriff
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, on-writing
To read my review, click here:
Alexander Fitzgerald
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This short work is stunning in its excellence.

Steven Pressfield has become even more succinct with age. That has enriched his work.

He can say more in a 100 words than most writers can in 100,000.

There's not one sentence wasted here. This is a concise analysis of what it means to be a creator of anything. He addresses what stops creators, what ennobles creators, where real inspiration comes from, and how to access that inspiration.

His few spiritual ideas are diverse in origin and helpful in
Sacha Black
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another fantastic book from Pressfield. So thought provoking and inspiring. I loved how philosophical this one was looking at life and the wider journey of the creative person. I also love the concepts of the Daimon and the fact it’s separate to us and that once we get on this journey is a non stop ride to the end. Will be pondering many of the ideas in this for weeks to come.
Colby Rice
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book! I felt as though this is a great companion for all of us who feel misunderstood as artists, OR who can barely understand the artistic zeitgeist itself, but who can still feel it in every inch of our bodies and souls. If you're feeling lost, alone, or just plain bamboozled by your artist life, definitely pick up this book. It's like having an old mentor, who's walked your path, clap you on the shoulder and say, "It's okay, buddy. I'm right there with you."
Sharon Bright
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Steven Pressfield never disappoints.
Purely Lucy
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you enjoyed the War of Art and the work of Joseph Cambell (Hero's Journey) then you'll love this! I see the works of Steven Pressfield as required reading for any artist looking to re-inspire their commitment to "do the work" and really give everything to their calling/craft.
Lisa King
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book blew my heart wide open. If you identify as an artist, you have a call. Accept it and step up. The world is waiting.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marion Hill
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
“Your artist’s journey is unique to you. You alone are on your path. Your job is only to follow it and be true to it. Who knows what heights it may eventually bear you to? You are an artist. Your journey–however humble, however fraught, however beset with thorns and thistles—is part of a noble, cosmic cause. It is not meaningless. It is not in vain. It is a portion of a grand adventure. The artist’s journey is the hero’s journey of the human race.”

This quote is an entry from the end of acclaimed
Ocean Gebhardt
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
It might just be my impression but I felt like he bit off more than he could chew here. This book is *much* more philosophical than the other books I've read by him ("Do the work" and "The War of Art"), and I felt like it missed the mark. He quotes Jung, Marx, Homer, Joseph Campbell, and many others, but just seems to pick and choose random quotes or tidbits. I couldn't help feeling like he wanted to sound philosophical, but wasn't sure exactly how.

I did like some of the points he made, such as
Tim Miller
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you consider yourself an artist or have the hopes of some day becoming one—read this book—it’s that simple.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok

The first book in this series would readily have sufficed to convey the repetitive message pounded home in this book.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it."

I loved this book. It totally changed the way I was mentally framing my own artistic journey, and I loved the story/metaphor Pressfield came up to support that framework. It's weird and mystical, but also grounded and so incredibly relatable. (My sister introduced me to Stephen Pressfield with the quote above from The War of Art, describing him as
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Big, big fan of Steven Pressfield. I've read all of his writing books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book for the paradigm shift that he puts forth--the artist's journey--that speaks to both art and life. That is, we're mired in our own hero's journey until we heed the siren's call of the muse and that thing inside of us that won't let us live in peace. It's not until that truth is lived out in our own time and way that we begin our artist's journey. I loved this book for that shift and for the ...more
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub
Creating a parallel between the Hero’s Journey and the Artist Journey, the author takes us through his thoughts, religious mysticism and other reflexions.

Art is powerful. I believe in the unifying power of the music, stories, the paintings of others. But art is wider than that. It can be starting a business or doing your work. Everything we do can be that. I connected it with Seth’s “emotional labour”

I felt the idealization or exaltation of the artist taking it to the religious, almost miracle
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own, e-books, audiobook
I follow Black Irish books so I picked up this and Tim Grahl’s latest as both ebooks and audiobooks.
Pressfield’s voice is one I know well and here he reads his own title.

The artist's journey comes after the hero's journey. (Kindle Locations 134-135).

Yeah, I guess… I suppose it helps to know there are good things to come.
Pressfield’s favourites show up: Twyla Tharp, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and a few others. He repeats some stories or quotes from other works.
Here he proposes that no matter
Jane Night
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I had really mixed feelings about this book but I feel like I am, perhaps, the wrong audience.

It seems to me this book is intended for the budding artist who needs a push on their journey. This book spends a lot of time talking about the nobility of purpose of creating art. That isn't a bad thing but there wasn't much of practical use in this book. Mostly, it is the exploration of why one chooses to become an artist.

I found the first part of this book confusing. I didn't really grasp the point
I can't get enough of this book! It's one of those pieces you'll read over and over, getting something new from it every time.

Pressfield takes us through the process and concept of the artist's journey - in the most basic of terms, to create something to put into the world. Each person is an artist, of their own life or something more tangible, and each person goes through a hero's journey first, in which they're preparing for the artist's journey. Each small chapter is a step-by-step manifesto
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I confess it wasn’t my first instinct to read this book. After reading Pressfield’s most famous release “The War of Art” and not being that impressed, I figured he was one of those authors that achieved great insight, but all of the knowledge had already been distilled into popular culture, rendering it unnecessary. I ended up getting the book bundled with Tim Grahl’s “Running Down A Dream” and decided to give it a go in its audio format.

What a surprise! Very insightful and candid, Pressfield
Katja Vartiainen
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: art, self-help
Well, it's a great pep talk for all creatives. A quick read, and way too much repetition. I do in principal share the same views, as the author, except maybe the muse view: 'the only woman I've been loyal to'.
It's short, easy to read. But I think it is a a too vague a synthesis of Joseph Cambpell's work. I really do recommend reading Campbell himself. Who is intelligent, interesting, and fun to read. The mythology series is amazing, it will enrich your life and imagination.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Lost interest along the way

Frustratingly entertaining yet still not what I expected, if that makes sense. I lost interest about 20% in.

It is a good thing I'm not a hero and I don't have a journey. It's also a good thing I've learned about the Hero's Journey from other places.

It is an interesting read if you want to live under a fictional shadow. Other than that, get on your bike and head over to another book that would do better for you.
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book, like all of Pressfield's non-fiction, went off like a thunderclap in my brain. With a flourish of revelatory insight and a dash of levity, this book catalyzed so many thoughts and ideas within me. Furthermore, it extenuates the implications of Pressfield's classic, "The War of Art". Although I've reread that book several times, I always found myself asking, "now what?" "The Artist's Journey" provides the esoteric framework I needed to keep the journey going.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A remarkable book for artists, aspiring artists, and creatives everywhere. Like “The War of Art,” “The Artist’s Journey” inspires, but it doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Rather, the book leads readers to their own trailhead where they can begin their individual and unique journey to discover the artist within. Mr. Pressfield fills this compact book with wisdom and heart. It will kick your creative tail into action.
Jenna Dayle
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read The War of Art but this collection hit home with me as a writer far deeper than that one.

Pressfield compares the actual process of writing to the hero's journey and I found myself in the stories & lessons deeply time and time again. It felt both comforting and inspiring to get that this is all just part of the process.

Highly recommend: easy to read, inspiring, perspective shifting and simple in it's delivery.
Cheryl Scheer
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Steven!

This was an amazing book! It clarified for me why I loved Hero with a Thousand Faces many years ago when I read it. This book also clearly spells out why we artists must do what we need to do. I struggled for many years with the push-pull inside of me, not understanding exactly what it was until I read this book. It is a quick, enjoyable read, that I hope inspires many others as it has done for me. Thank you Steven!
Karista Bennett
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been a long time fan of Steven Pressfield's work and this book is no exception. Funny, enlightening, engaging, honest, sobering at times and good kick in the behind if one is dragging their feet. Several times I had to go back a few pages and re-read them just to soak them up and process the meaning. I found myself making notes and pasting them on my desk and computer for instant inspiration. Loved it.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Very fast read. I found it a bit hit and miss, but I'll think about the things that resonated. I think my main point of divergence is Pressfield's idea that there's some other unified plane of consciousness (and that the artist's journey is retrieving from that other level). Obviously it's fine if that's how he conceptualizes his creative process, but it doesn't work for me. I guess I think there are enough mysteries on this level that I don't yet need to theorize additional levels.
Paige Gordon
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this book as much as I have some of Mr Pressfield's other works (Gates of Fire, The War of Art, Turning Pro, Do The Work - all some of my favorite books ever), but it just didn't do it for me. I don't specifically know why, and it did have some good stuff going for it, but overall I felt it was just OK.

Favorite Quote: "The artist mines the same vein over and over. He just digs deeper over time."
Idelette McVicker
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pressfield reads this on Audible and that is priceless. I felt like I was in a lecture with him and couldn’t stop listening. So much wisdom. I had been struggling with finding my place in the Hero’s Journey and he made it so clear. Bam! Highly recommend it for anyone trying to find their voice and place as an artist.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a rather deep mindset book on how the artists journey reflects the Campbellian The Hero's Journey. Very thought provoking and inspiring, i can see myself going back to reread this a few times when anxiety tries to take over.
Also very applicable to other artistic pursuits than just writing, so for those unfamiliar with the Hero's Journey, this will still be a valuable read.
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I was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943 to a Navy father and mother.

I graduated from Duke University in 1965.

In January of 1966, when I was on the bus leaving Parris Island as a freshly-minted Marine, I looked back and thought there was at least one good thing about this departure. "No matter what happens to me for the rest of my life, no one can ever send me back to this freakin' place
“On our hero's journey, we see, we experience, we suffer. We learn. On our hero's journey, we acquire a history that is ours alone. It's a secret history, a private history, a personal history. No one has it but us. No one knows it but us. This secret history is the most valuable possession we hold, or ever will hold. We will draw upon it for the rest of our lives.” 1 likes
“The hero's journey software in our heads is demanding to be lived out. The blanks are insisting on being filled in.” 0 likes
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