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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

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  848 ratings  ·  93 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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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  848 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Patrick Sherriff
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-writing, art
To read my review, click here: ...more
Dec 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, 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 pra
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.
Timothy Ball
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
"You may wonder as you sit in your cubicle designing a gun down scene for Call of Duty Black Ops 4, if you're really advancing the cause of humanity? You are. Your artist 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 bring you. 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 ...more
Martijn Reintjes
Dec 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: business
Read about 25% of the book on my kindle and decided to return (yes you can do that!)

What a pretentious piece of garbage.
It felt like a thesis of some second grade art student.
And I can say so, because I went to art school.

Whole lot of fluff. No substance what so ever.

It's a pity, since the Art of War did spark motivation and inspiration.

I don't really know what his message was with this book, but it could probably fit into a blog post ...
or a tweet ...


Show me someone who claims he doesn't
Phil Rosen
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another classic by Steven Pressfield, building off his initial cult classic, "The War of Art." A fantastic and encouraging and illuminating book for creatives -- meaning, anyone who wants to or has to create something. Building off lessons about 'Resistance' from his previous book, Pressfield ties in the Hero's Journey archetype into the journey and the task of the artist.

I enjoyed this, and made short work of it; the chapters are written in a very digestible way, in 1-3 page bites. Certainly a
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." ...more
Charlotte Nash
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a tough one, where I've vacillated between 4 and 5 stars. Five, because I've listened to it several times, and have found it both comforting and inspiring. Four, because it's also a bit woo-woo in places for me, and leans heavily into survivor bias. Leaving it at five for now. ...more
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. ...more
Sharon Bright
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Steven Pressfield never disappoints.
Charlotte Lambrecht
short but oh so sweet
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.
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
Robert 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 b
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 obse ...more
I audiobooked this, and was constantly pausing to drop an electronic bookmark on phrases that struck me as particularly profound, either in their uniqueness, or their downright simplicity. And most often it was the simplicity of the ideas that I enjoyed the most.

It’s a super quick read/listen, actually, it clips along at break-neck speed, and it’s full of great little nuggets of info to light a little fire under our asses to create. It’s stuff most of us know, or have heard in passing, but it pa
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, e-books, i-own
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 h
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 l
Stiltzkin Vanserine
By reading The Artist's Journey: The Wake of the Hero's Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning, I accomplished a rare feat of mine: reading two books by one author at the same time, the other being Gates of Fire.

Steven Pressfield’s message becomes repetitive after his 5th non-fiction book, but even so, I still enjoyed this one. Compared with his other works, this one is more philosophical and—dare I say—mystical.

An aspiring writer myself, I totally understand what Pressfield means when he
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 r
I read The War of Art at the RIGHT time. And then I read Turning Pro at the RIGHT TIME! So I'm not surprised that I read the Artist's Journey at the RIGHT TIME!

These books are vital for every creative, every artist. Slumps are so difficult to get out of. Slumps during a pandemic are nearly impossible to get out of. This book flowed with such ease, filled with poetic quotes from other artists, that the author connected to his own journey. Steven Pressfield has found a way to show up for his art i
Michael T. Christensen
The apparent core premise of this book is “your journey as a writer mirrors the hero’s journey that most characters go on,” and that’s interesting. But that’s not where the book spends most of its time. Instead it bounces between several ideas, going only surface-level in a lot of them. “The War of Art” did something similar, but I rate that book higher because it has the section on “resistance,” which I found intensely motivating. Here, the best section discussed how artists have their own “ref ...more
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I think this book is one of the least valuable books from Steven Pressfield that I have read. Nevertheless, it was entertaining and provided an interesting insight.

I especially liked the idea of the journey, but it was too metaphorical and mystical to me. In many cases, it was written like a voodoo book - full of cognitive biases and rhetorical tricks like appealing to the authority or "general wisdom".

I think the most valuable parts are related to C. G. Jung's work and analyzing it in the creat
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.
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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 a

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