Becoming an Artist

It’s not often a country invites you to be an honorary citizen for your 'craft'. Well that’s exactly what happened to international author Stephen Pressfield (check it out at the end) + previous blog post

I wrote to Steve to ask him what advice he would give to students whom are seeking to develop their potential and possibilities.

Here is directly what he shared from his latest book “The Artist’s Journey.” Enjoy!

(p.s an extra minute longer than normal but totally worth it).


“I have a theory about the Hero's Journey. We all have one. We have many, in fact. But our primary hero's journey as artists is the passage we live out, in real life, before we find our calling.

The hero's journey is the search for that calling.

It's preparation.

It's initiation (or, more precisely, self-initiation)

On the 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.

The hero's journey ends when, like Odysseus, we return home to Ithaca, to the place from which we started. We wash up on shore. We have survived. We have come home.

Now what?

The passage that comes next is the Artist's Journey.

The artist's journey comes after the hero's journey.

Everything that has happened to us up to this point is rehearsal for us to act, now, as our true self and to find and speak in our true voice.

The artist's journey is the process of self-discovery that follows.

It will last as long as we're alive, and maybe longer.


… the artist's journey, which follows the hero's journey chronologically, comprises the true work, the actual production, of the artist's life.

From that moment, the hero is no longer a free-range individual.

She has become an artist.

As Rosanne Cash declared in her memoir, Composed:

‘I had awakened from the morphine sleep of success into the life of an artist’.

Everything in her life that is not-artist now falls away.

On the surface her new life may look ordinary, even boring. No more catastrophic romances. No more self-destructive binges. No more squandering or disrespecting her gift, her voice, her talent.

She is on a mission now.

Her life has acquired a purpose.

What is the artist's life about now?

It's about following the Muse.

It's about finding her true voice.

It's about becoming who she really is.

On her artist's journey, she will produce the works she was born to bring into being.

She will be on that journey for the rest of her life.”

(End quote from Stephen Pressfield)

Anything that resonsated for you? Have a re-read, ponder, think, reflect, resonate.

With Arete,


Steven Pressfield is a prolific author of books such as The War of Art, Turning Pro, and

Do the Work (amongst many others). Interesting fact, Stephen was made an honorary citizen of Sparta, Greece (largely for his 'work'). You can check out Steve on

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