I’m thinking about my friend Gil, who served three years in prison. 

That’s the wilderness. 

Other mates have endured years-long ordeals enslaved to alcohol, drugs, trauma, PTSD, self-dramatization, toxic family dysfunction, you-name-it.

That’s the wilderness. 

My friend Gil at Pro Camp, Gold’s Gym, Venice CA 9/28/22

Think about artists stuck in denial of their gifts … or too terrified to find or embrace their calling. Henry Miller worked for the phone company. Salman Rushdie toiled in advertising. Charles Bukowski labored for the post office. For years!

That’s the wilderness.

It seems that, one way or another, each of us must undergo a passage—internal, external, or both—of exile and estrangement from ourselves. I’ve touched on my own peregrinations in The War of Art and other books. I drove tractor-trailers, I picked fruit, I worked as an oilfield roustabout. I was lost lost lost. Yet in the end, when I finally emerged from this passage, I came to consider it the most fertile and cosmically-alive time of my life—and utterly indispensable to my evolution as a writer. 

I’m starting a video series on Instagram on this subject. I’m calling it “In the Wilderness.” I’ll keep the videos short, and I’ll post them here as well as on IG, etc. weekly or maybe even more frequently.

Full disclosure: part of my motivation is to draw attention to an upcoming book of mine called GOVT CHEESE, a memoir of my “lost years” that I’ve always wanted to write but never found the guts to.

I’m also hoping that this video series will work as a standalone examination of this most critical (and creative) period in all of our lives—our years in exile from ourselves and from our calling. 

P.S. Gil finished a second college degree (he already had one) while he was behind bars. He’s doing great now–and he has been for years.  And for sure he’s never going back.

DO THE WORK

Steve shows you the predictable Resistance points that every writer hits in a work-in-progress and then shows you how to deal with each one of these sticking points. This book shows you how to keep going with your work.

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THE AUTHENTIC SWING

A short book about the writing of a first novel: for Steve, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Having failed with three earlier attempts at novels, here's how Steve finally succeeded.

The-Authentic-Swing

NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR SH*T

Steve shares his "lessons learned" from the trenches of the five different writing careers—advertising, screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, and self-help. This is tradecraft. An MFA in Writing in 197 pages.

noboybookcover

TURNING PRO

Amateurs have amateur habits. Pros have pro habits. When we turn pro, we give up the comfortable life but we find our power. Steve answers the question, "How do we overcome Resistance?"

Turning-Pro

61 Comments

  1. Simon on October 12, 2022 at 2:30 am

    I’d love to watch these videos but don’t want to join Instagram, or even open it up in my browser. I’ll keep following these posts, though.

    • Hmmm... on October 12, 2022 at 4:52 am

      Yeah, like he said.
      No social media for me,
      for so many reasons…

      • Cecelia on October 12, 2022 at 10:45 am

        Hey Steve, is it possible to also post these on YouTube? Or embed in your blog? I, too, have joined the exodus from most social media platforms…Sounds like the perfect series for us creatives. Very relevant, and apropos for the times we are living in right now – we all must come out from amongst “them,” and be “us” – bloom into our true and highest purpose as creators with vision unseen to most. Kindly, Cecelia

  2. Marin on October 12, 2022 at 2:56 am

    This post popped into my inbox in probably the darkest 3 a.m. of my life. Every point hit home. My wilderness has been cancer, MS, an autistic child, being abandoned by a deserting husband and financially ruined after being there for him while he built his career…ah, so many old cliches, but sadly all true, while the battered, neglected writer in me struggled to scream and fight for life. “The toad beneath the harrow knows…” Thank you, Mr. Pressfield, for this and so many writerly-soul-affirming assists. I’ve found hope in your books and look forward to your video series.

    • Tolis Alexopoulos on October 12, 2022 at 3:41 am

      Good luck out there dear Marin, I believe that all that you had -and have- to go through that you mentioned are the potenziale igniters of the explosion of your true self through art. Go all in, and please never find a reason not to take care of you at the same time.

    • Jackie on October 12, 2022 at 4:51 am

      Main,
      Be the phoenix. Rise from the ashes. Never give up.

      • Jackie on October 12, 2022 at 4:52 am

        OOPS!
        Marin, sorry for the typo.
        You got this!

    • Kate Stanton on October 12, 2022 at 7:25 am

      Marin,
      Your name is a beautiful character in a Legend of Zelda video game. She turns out to be just a dream, but I read your message thinking your past is a bad dream. You have a fresh start. New dreams. Reach out to others and be authentic. Ask for specific help. You deserve it. People will conspire to help you follow your dreams. You’re in the valley. Where those lush flowers and vegetation can grow. Keep climbing baby steps to the peak–you have so much empathy because of what you’ve been through. I also find hope here with Steven’s words and the comment section. You got this!!!

    • Joe Jansen on October 12, 2022 at 8:56 am

      Offering you encouragement and support, Marin. Keep swinging!

    • Lin Keeling on October 12, 2022 at 10:33 am

      So glad you’ve joined us, Marin, welcome! Your journey can teach us all about perseverance under duress. Thank you for sharing part of your story with us and best wishes in your ‘new dream’ as Kate put it.

  3. Jim Gant on October 12, 2022 at 3:42 am

    Marin,

    Sending YOU a thousand spears of hope, faith and love.

    Never quit.

    Ever.

    YOU are in my prayers.

    Jim
    1COR13:13

  4. Bob Martel on October 12, 2022 at 3:54 am

    Can’t wait to watch… and get out of the deep woods. This series will help me exit the wilderness and “put my ass where it’s been calling me to take it”

  5. omwow on October 12, 2022 at 4:21 am

    Really look forward to this, excited to learn more about this period of your life and what it was like!

  6. Tolis Alexopoulos on October 12, 2022 at 4:24 am

    Thank you very much dear Steve, and also thank you for the upcoming book on the lost years.

    The exile. What a powerful word. I even wonder if we should ever be free of it, or if we’d rather be exiles for life. But not exiles from our selves, but exiles from all else but that, whatever that is for each of us. Exiles in the dessert of the unknown, with Spartan spirits to match our dangerous quests always seeking for the truth -our unique truth, not a labelled one. The only fear I can feel on being an exile, is the fear of one day being too old or disadvantaged to be able to continue the quest. Then, anyone would really hope they weren’t exiles but had made a safe home for life. A warm and peaceful house.

    Tomorrow night, and for the weekend, I’ll be for the first time in my life in Sparta for a master degree that I’m beginning, on training persons with disadvantages -meet the teachers, make the first lessons etc. What a great day, to walk on the Land of the Free.

    I wish the best to all our friends here, and everyone.

    P.s. The title “In the Wilderness” is exceptional.

    • Lin Keeling on October 12, 2022 at 10:52 am

      Good luck in your new pursuit, Tolis! I hope it is everything you want it to be and more. Loved your imagery of the cave last week, by the way. I didn’t get a chance to comment last week. That was such a powerful image, Steve, going into the cave. I don’t like caves personally, but I stuck with it for a while and began thinking of what I’ve learned about caves and rock shelters in anthropology. Caves have been sacred places for many peoples throughout time, a liminal space in which to touch the sacred and unknown. Exactly what all of us are trying to do. Just my two cents, a week late.

      • Tolis on October 12, 2022 at 12:10 pm

        Thank you so much Lin! Don’t worry about commenting, I also loose all chances to comment the beautiful people here. It’s Life, but it’s also the all mighty Resistance.

  7. Doug G Moring on October 12, 2022 at 4:47 am

    Enjoyed Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Is. Look forward to your memoir.

  8. Trina Morgan on October 12, 2022 at 4:47 am

    At present I’m teaching personal development and life skills in a correctional facility. Am I qualified for this? I ask myself. My own wildernesses — going back to finish my degree while raising kids on my own, getting duped by fake business opportunities, falling in love — have given me some credibility in my own mind, but Resistance would like me to feel that I have nothing to offer these people.

    I remind myself of what one of my professors told me years ago: You’re teaching to five percent of the group. I hope that in this environment the number is a little higher, but if what I present helps just one of the group, I give myself credit for success as a teacher.

    In the process, what I’m presenting to the group I’m also receiving for myself. I continue learning how to be a better human being, how to resist Resistance, and to remember that it’s all Grist for the Mill. There are characters in the darkness waiting for me to give them life. There are situations hovering in the background waiting to be incorporated. Every single experience is a potential scene in a story that has yet to come alive.

    • Anonymous on October 12, 2022 at 5:22 am

      “There are situations hovering in the background waiting to be incorporated. Every single experience is a potential scene in a story that has yet to come alive.”

      Amen, Trina! You are so right.

    • Lin Keeling on October 12, 2022 at 10:54 am

      Teaching is an amazing gift, Trina, and it can be so rewarding when you reach that one person. I’ve found that I learn as much from my students, the ones who are engaged, as I hope they learn from me. Love your last sentence!

    • Gerry Lantz on October 15, 2022 at 1:15 pm

      Good for you. You make so many relevant points–all inspiring. Keep giving yourself credit for teaching and learning while you teach (I did this as a high school English teacher), and credit for knowing there are nascent scenes in you that could be part of a larger story. They are there. Writing is discovery, just like teaching is learning. You’ll get there.

      BTW, I believe the % you reach as a teacher is much higher when you have passion and direct students to see and feel great experiences that otherwise would not have been available to them–in literature, art, film, history–and in all the human-made glory you expose them. Keep going and break a leg!

  9. Jackie on October 12, 2022 at 4:57 am

    Steve, Looking forward to the wilderness and the book. Thanks.

  10. Faith Watson on October 12, 2022 at 5:01 am

    Ah, once again, to borrow from the beloved writing/mind of Robert Johnson, there is gold, not just monsters, in our wilderness. But I guess we don’t discover that until we are on the path through it…or for some unril we are out and empty our backpacks of what we gathered. Thanks for sharing your wanderings, Steve–it is helpful testimony! I still need to hold up my own collection of nuggets.

  11. Allison on October 12, 2022 at 5:15 am

    Good morning, all. Wow! Mr. Pressfield, your post really hit home for me. Thank you. The title of your memoir is intriguing, I can’t wait to read it. So happy you found the courage to move forward..

    Trying to jump back on the creative writing train. I will be re-reading this post. Your encouragement is appreciated, continued blessings.

  12. Jim Sapara on October 12, 2022 at 5:23 am

    The Wilderness?…you’ve got to be joking. I thought I owned the wilderness I thought I was the only one that tripped and toiled through a thousand opposing forces. I’m leaning in to myself to conquer more of my inner self.

  13. Gregory Edwards on October 12, 2022 at 5:32 am

    And as a species…perhaps we are lost in that wildernesses as well.

  14. Kelley Brophy on October 12, 2022 at 6:22 am

    I just ordered this book on Amazon and it arrives today! I can’t wait to work my out out of my own wilderness-es! Thank you Steven for ALWAYS inspiring and motivating.

  15. Brad Graft on October 12, 2022 at 6:34 am

    Great stuff. Trina and Marin– thanks for sharing. Sending positive vibes to you both– toward your lives, missions and art.

    Looking forward to “Govt Cheese.”

    • Joe on October 12, 2022 at 10:10 am

      I’m a fan of cheese in all its forms. Also (always) looking forward to Steve’s next book.

  16. Navy wife PhD on October 12, 2022 at 6:36 am

    I’ve been lost in the wilderness for the past fourteen years that I’ve spent married to the military and alone. I’ve watched wives like me try to commit suicide and been there when our service member friends have died at their own hands. After the last deployment, the same time I signed up with Mr. Pressfield, I told my service member spouse I’m done with deployments and the military and I’m not going back after this tour. We still have a year and a half on his contract. Since subscribing to this weekly list, I have written one novel, a short story and have 3/4 of a second novel completed. I don’t think I could have done any of that if I hadn’t started reading Pressfield while sending flowers to the latest military wife that I know who tried to end her life.

    • Kate Stanton on October 12, 2022 at 7:35 am

      YOU are incredibly inspiring. Thank you for your sacrifices and dedication. I think the world can agree YOU time is long overdue. Go create!!

    • Joe Jansen on October 12, 2022 at 10:41 am

      It’s not easy, what’s asked of military families. I salute you for taking care of yourself and marking your boundaries.

    • Gerry Lantz on October 15, 2022 at 1:22 pm

      Good for you. You make so many relevant points–all inspiring. Keep giving yourself credit for teaching and learning while you teach (I did this as a high school English teacher), and credit for knowing there are nascent scenes in you that could be part of a larger story. They are there. Writing is discovery, just like teaching is learning. You’ll get there.

      BTW, I believe the % you reach as a teacher is much higher when you have passion and direct students to see and feel great experiences that otherwise would not have been available to them–in literature, art, film, history–and in all the human-made glory you expose them. Keep going and break a leg!

    • Gerry Lantz on October 15, 2022 at 1:30 pm

      Breath-taking, truly. You have borne the unbearable and still arrived on the other side with creative work finished. Inspires the hell out of me–to stop hiding behind my excuses of work, work, and life in general. Your life and the lives of military spouses sounds like the basis for an intriguing non-fiction book. I wish you the best and believe your creative work will lead you to a hopeful future.

  17. Jesse Passmore on October 12, 2022 at 7:09 am

    Perfectly timed. You have a supernatural ability to accomplish this. Thank you, truly.

  18. David on October 12, 2022 at 7:31 am

    Discovered at age 74 had lost much of life through O.B.E.’s These were when separated from my body. Found dozens of times it happened and today (now aged 75) have a clearer mind and can think some solutions.
    Dread to think the number of drug users and alcoholics trapped in their own minds. Lucky me threw alcohol and cigarettes forty years ago. Nice world, government earns Billions from the miseries of those hooked.
    How many stuff food and booze because they think ‘need this’. We are a soul with a body, goodness knows what the soul is learning.
    David

  19. Kate Stanton on October 12, 2022 at 7:33 am

    I’m a statistic. A quick Google search can show people the number one reason women develop PTSD. I feel grateful for a solid relationship with a therapist that has helped me work through the lies and trauma. Art and music are my outlets when I cannot relate to others. Steve, your empathy and open-mindedness is as inspiring as your writing. We all need to be reminded that everyone has a battle. Whether it’s addiction, illness, family, etc. etc. we have no idea where someone came from and what opportunities that had or didn’t have. We rise by lifting others…Gil is a bad ass. Most people would have given up. Crawling out of the pit is f*cking hard.

    • Lin Keeling on October 12, 2022 at 10:58 am

      It is hard, Kate, but you’ll make it because you are fighting to. Been there, still there sometimes. Different reasons, maybe, but the struggle is the same. Keep fighting, we’re with you!

  20. Bob on October 12, 2022 at 7:49 am

    Been working my way through the wilderness for 40-years… I see the clearing just ahead. I’ll be out soon and better for having gone through the wilderness like all of us.

    Always appreciate your insights, Steven. They always seem to appear exactly when I need them… funny how that works.

  21. Ed Hinman on October 12, 2022 at 8:34 am

    Can’t wait for this video series! One of my favorite subjects that you write about. Thanks Steve!

  22. Daniel Stutzman on October 12, 2022 at 8:45 am

    I’ve always wanted to hear more of your wilderness story. Looking forward to it, Steve!

  23. Judith on October 12, 2022 at 9:03 am

    It’s always something with you, isn’t it?

    Glad for this. I still only guess that I was meant to be a storyteller in writing, so your new venture may help me feel my way into this possible wonder.

    Thank you

  24. Sam Luna on October 12, 2022 at 9:29 am

    I sometimes think of Writing Wednesdays as a different kind of AA: a weekly sit down where we’re all reminded of what we already know, but have to keep affirming so we don’t backslide into our previous peregrinations, to use Steve’s word (a great word.)

    In my early 20’s I started having debilitating panic attacks. Convinced I had a serious heart condition, I walked into the free clinic in the Ukrainian village neighborhood in Chicago and begged the doctor to give me an EKG. She obliged, and when it came out perfectly normal grabbed both sides of my head and said, in her very thick accent, “you need EXERCISE, boy.”

    It would be years before I took her advice. And gee, wouldn’t you know it, she was right. Regular exercise was the medicine I needed.

    And then there’s the other kind of medicine. When the darkness comes the prescription for what ails us is always the same: sitting down, butt in chair, and doing our work. I have found no other cure: no pill, no meditation, no prayer, no yoga pose, nothing puts me in my happy place like doing the work I’m supposed to be doing, routinely, (almost) every day. It doesn’t matter if you do it badly, you just have to do it.

    See you all next week for our weekly reminder!

    • Joe on October 12, 2022 at 10:45 am

      My thought, too, that “peregrinations” was a good word. And loved, “You need EXERCISE, boy.”

    • Nom de Plume on October 14, 2022 at 11:35 am

      Great story, Sam! And it’s funny how in this community of writers, the need to exercise for mental/emotional/creative/spiritual clarity is a recurring theme.

      And another thumb’s-up for “peregrinations”!

    • Gerry Lantz on October 15, 2022 at 1:47 pm

      This was a sock in the head–I can only tell you that I had a similar experience — but forced a Dr. at a clinic in a Ukrainian section of New Jersey to look me over because I thought maybe I was having a stroke–my vision had gone wonky. They made me sit there in the exam room so they keep a watch on me. After checking my vitals, etc., they pronounced was fine, of course. {But boy did I need exercise!] It was the beginning of recognizing if I stayed working where I was and to whom I had to report, I would shrivel inside a lot and I couldn’t bear it. It took me a year and a half to get a job back in the industry I loved in Manhattan and doing the work that was rewarding though tough. All long ago now.

      “…no pill, no meditation, no prayer, no yoga pose, nothing puts me in my happy place like doing the work I’m supposed to be doing, routinely, (almost) every day. It doesn’t matter if you do it badly, you just have to do it.”
      Thanks for reiterating Mr Pressfield’s clarion call to put my ass in a chair and write

  25. derek on October 12, 2022 at 10:15 am

    peregrinations

    had to look that up, an advantage over the spoken word, text.

  26. Jan Bowler on October 12, 2022 at 10:20 am

    Steven, Thanks for this. I found my way out of the wilderness and into my chair. But this reminder is valuable because the wilderness is always beckoning in different disguises and if I don’t adhere to my rituals and practices, I’m at risk of slipping back in . I look forward to the videos.

  27. Joe Jansen on October 12, 2022 at 10:53 am

    Gil looks like a hard knot.

    If I could be allowed… I’ve had the opportunity to publish one book thus far. It’s a book that speaks to teen and young adults about ways to understand, approach, and embrace grief. The title “Wilderness” this morning brought to mind the couple paragraphs of opening to this book, addressing a kid who may have lost a parent early, or a sibling, or a friend. I’d found a “wilderness” theme to begin that conversation. It opened like this…

    *********
    Every book is guaranteed to have a final chapter. In every movie, the credits will roll. In every soccer match, the time runs out. In these lives we’re given, our one guarantee is that our time is finite. It’s true for ourselves, and it’s true for every single person we know and love. Some of those people we love will leave here before us. Sometimes, they will die too soon, and that’s going to hurt.

    When you lose someone close to you, it might feel like you’re all alone. A young girl who lost her mother described it as feeling like she was alone in a bubble. You may feel like you are stranded on the surface of some alien planet—separated from the person you lost or cut off from your friends who you think won’t understand you. In all of this, there’s good news: You don’t have to do this by yourself. You’re not alone.

    You probably know the story of Lewis and Clark, the explorers who led an expedition in the early 1800s that blazed a trail through the American wilderness—from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean and back. When they returned, they had maps to show others the way. When it comes to navigating grief and loss, other kids have been on the path you’re on now, or at least a similar path that crosses the same kind of scary wilderness. If there’s a dark forest to enter, other teens have entered that forest before you. They can tell you where the wolves are and how to make it through.

    In this wilderness, are there raging rapids to cross? Other kids have stood on the banks of that river and can tell you how they got across without getting swept downstream. If they did get knocked off their feet and into fast water, they can tell you how they maneuvered to the bank and found a branch to grab. Other teens can tell you how they pulled themselves out, built a fire and dried their clothes, and were able to keep going.

    On the Lewis and Clark Expedition, William Clark didn’t cross the Rocky Mountains as a party of one. Meriwether Lewis wasn’t by himself when he negotiated with American Indian chiefs for safe passage. Lewis and Clark were not alone—more than thirty other explorers were in their party. Some hunted and kept the group fed. Some navigated, and some kept the expedition’s records. The Shoshone woman Sacagawea helped translate, and her presence as a woman smoothed out the tense first meetings with newly encountered Indian tribes.

    No single member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition ventured solo into the wilds. They were a corps. They made it through, and they found their way back home—together. On your journey of loss, you don’t have to figure this out all by yourself, either. Other kids have lost someone they love. They’ve been in the same kind of wilderness as you might find yourself now. They’ve entered a dark wood and have come out on the other side. They’ve left maps for you. Those maps are here.

    • Lin Keeling on October 12, 2022 at 11:03 am

      Beautiful, Joe! Thanks for sharing it with us..

    • Tolis on October 12, 2022 at 12:15 pm

      Thank you very much dear Joe, if there is a possibility that I can have a copy of your book I would be very interested in reading it. If there is a way, let me know on Instagram or even here.

    • Jackie on October 12, 2022 at 3:08 pm

      Wow! Thanks Joe.

    • Sam Luna on October 12, 2022 at 3:46 pm

      Great stuff, Joe.

      • Kate Stanton on October 13, 2022 at 2:40 pm

        I’m also interested in reading your book, Joe!

    • Joe on October 19, 2022 at 7:28 am

      Y’all, I hadn’t come back here in time last week to find your nice comments about the book’s opening passage. Thank you so much for the kind words. The book can be found on Amazon (search “Jansen” and “Grief”).

      To save a bit of money, the book can be found at the publisher’s website (https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538136928/Grief-Insights-and-Tips-for-Teenagers), where you can use a “friends and family” 30% discount code: RLFANDF30

      I’ll mention that nothing comes back to me on the sale of these books. It was written on contract, with no royalties to the author. My only interest is in seeing the book find its way to people who might find something meaningful in there.

  28. Karen Tegel on October 12, 2022 at 11:48 am

    Life is funny…I just put down “Going Pro” a few minutes ago, and then opened my email to this post. I needed this message today. I am definitely in the wilderness. I’ve finally figured out (sort of) where I’d like to go, but I feel like the exit from my wilderness is a million miles away. This post gave me hope that my time in the wilderness is not a waste, and i might emerge some day.

  29. Brian Nelson on October 12, 2022 at 12:19 pm

    So much good stuff today. The first sentence about Gil made me shudder. We just finished Black Bird on AppleTV, about a guy going into a maximum security prison—so damn dark.
    Prison or jails are one of those themes that frighten my to the core. So dark. What man can become left to his darkest impulses…then of course there are the Solzhenitsyns/Mandelas/Nassers who use that Wilderness to completely metamorphosis themselves into something amazing. Sounds like Gil may have done that as well.

    Welcome Marin—I hope you sense the love and support here, same to Trina and Navy Wife (good to see you back here).

    Sam, Kate,Joe—great stuff.

    Then, with all these foreboding feelings running through me, Steve writes his next book is GOVT CHEESE!! I laughed out loud! What a great title.

    My own immediate interpretation of GOVT CHEESE:
    1. Keeps you alive, but makes you fat.
    2. We think it is free, but in truth it steals our agency and initiative and sedates us into mediocrity.
    3. Better to go hungry than to become dependent upon GOVT CHEESE.
    4. Soulless bureaucrats who dispense said cheese with an air of utter self-righteousness and judge the recipients not so subtly while administering the allotment. In fact, there is a subtle sense that they actually made the cheese themselves and it is coming from their own cupboards.
    5. And yet…there is a time when GOVT CHEESE is all that we ourselves worthy of eating.
    Can’t wait for the book!

    One request: I hope you’ll double post the videos here, similar to Spartan series. I trust this place…not so much with any other social media site—and for some inane reason I think of Instagram as Paris Hilton at scale…kinda gross.
    bsn

    • Kate Stanton on October 13, 2022 at 2:42 pm

      Brevity is the soul of wit!! Loved the CHEESE comment for a good laugh as well, Brian. Always so nice to read your thoughts as well as the rest of the community here. CHEESE and wine cheers to a productive week!

  30. Maureen Anderson on October 12, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    A round of applause for these comments, healing wishes to those in pain, and a tip of the hat to Sam for his reference to AA (which, if memory serves, is also the reason Steve shows up here).

  31. Bowen Dwelle on October 14, 2022 at 8:49 am

    GOVT CHEESE feels like a direct reference to Bukowski, both in the subject and the ALL CAPS, abbreviated spelling. I love it.

    Steven, your books, and the concept of Resistance, have been an inspiration and a help to me as I have gradually made my way out of my own wilderness—a first career in software, because I didn’t have the courage, or foresight, or something, to follow my heart at the time, a second career with a business that I started, getting out of software but only diagonally, not straying far—all the while depressed and drinking, unhealthy and unhappy at my core. In my forties I gradually got healthier, sold my business, stopped drinking, started running trails (and many other things), and started to hear the subtle voice of my self more, until I eventually remembered the very clear feeling that I had back when I was just fifteen that I would want to become a writer in my fifties. After many more detours into resistance of various sorts and at least three years of study and practice, I finally find myself writing full time and producing work that I’m putting out on a regular basis, including pieces towards my own memoir of my own lost years. The interview you did with Rich Roll last year was a great way to revisit your work, thanks for that as well!

    My writing is up at https://decidenothing.substack.com

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