After the Wilderness

Our passage through the Wilderness may involve action worthy of the next John Wick movie. We may survive IEDs in Afghanistan, divorces in Reno, stretches in Joliet or in a cubicle at Facebook. We may find ourselves brawling in bars in Ibiza, pursuing lovers across the Pampas in Argentina. We may wake up with strange tattoos, or beside even stranger bed-mates. Entire decades can go missing during our Wilderness Passage.

Keanu Reeves in “John Wick 4”

But when we finally turn the corner—when we reach our All Is Lost Moment, followed by our Epiphanal Moment—all that adventure shifts.

It goes inside.

Our life becomes, now, about the work—the work we’ve been running away from all that time in the wilderness.

Dalton Trumbo wrote his best stuff in the bathtub. Churchill the same. Marcel Proust barely got out of bed. Even Hunter Thompson, mythology aside, took his orange juice straight when he settled down at the keyboard.

Me? The odometer on my ’65 Chevy van ticked over the six-digit mark so many times I can’t remember them all. That was during my hero’s journey. 

Now on my Artist’s Journey I barely drive to the grocery store. 


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.

do the work book banner 1


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.



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.



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?"



  1. Frank Gugino on March 29, 2023 at 5:47 am

    All is not lost but simply put on hold. As was the case with my debut novel, Life gets in the way and the project is shelved until further notice. One rationalization is that the creative concept needs time for reflection, to meld, stew or regenerate in the mind before resuming the keyboard output. BS, of course. It ultimately becomes a matter of will. Do you have the willpower to make it happen when other distractions hold sway like reading, research, home improvements, vacations, or altruistic endeavors. In my deepest self, I do, and I will rise again to finalize the story that is only half completed. It’s only a heartbeat away. Thanks, Steve, for keeping my mind in the game, and my will at the ready to summon to tackle the beast.

    • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 7:49 am


    • Joan Di Stefano on March 29, 2023 at 9:50 am

      Fear = resistence = distractions/= self loathing round and round I go. Stop ! Then I sit down and write. anyway !

      • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 11:07 am


      • Brian Nelson on March 29, 2023 at 12:44 pm

        I agree with your formula and the solution. Well said.

      • Peter Brockwell on March 30, 2023 at 8:56 am

        Hey Joan, distractions OMG indeed! Even important tasks sometimes, but really nothing that shouldn’t be paused until AFTER the creative work.

        When I can remember, I remember to do my ritual of making myself a filter coffee in my kitchen – a relaxing ritual that centres me. Then I take it and my laptop up to the spare room, which is distraction free. Sometimes I forget that, and sit at the dining room table, distracted.

        Just my thoughts. Steve has written and spoken about the value of a pre-activity ritual.

    • Gerry Lantz on March 30, 2023 at 7:43 am

      “Life gets in the way”–something in me says, “Life is the way”–working on your heart’s desire within it is the tricky part. I liked the formula with “Fear” at the root of resistance, distraction, self-loathing. As you say so well, ” I will rise again…” Good luck

    • Skyman Magic on April 17, 2023 at 1:37 pm

      Cool thanks for the information contained in this

  2. Steve on March 29, 2023 at 6:02 am

    When a song idea runs out from under my fingers I no longer judge it. Instead I chase it “to ground” and see it through to the conclusion it wants and knows better than I do.

    • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 7:50 am

      💜 Love that… chase it to the ground.

  3. Jackie on March 29, 2023 at 6:37 am

    The lies we tell ourselves to get out of doing the work… Thanks, Steve for sitting us down in honest conversations and giving us the power to open the door.

  4. Peter Brockwell on March 29, 2023 at 6:57 am

    Digressing somewhat, last week I finished Steve’s ‘Govt Cheese’ and I feel compelled to comment here upon it. What a memoir. What a story! What a series of All Is Lost Moments.

    Steve has long ago paid his dues. It’s interesting that Steve used such a broken self-interrupting ordering of events. Presumably Steve anticipated that readers would typically read into a linear sequence a comfortable progression, a teleology that naturally unfolded, and he wanted to disabuse us of that misconception.

    I won’t give spoilers but two moments were upsetting. And Steve, if you read this, speaking as a cat owner, you know that Mo could never have lived his life any other way than he did, ie fully and knowing the risks. My cat, puny little creature that she is, just cannot be kept inside. Whenever we move house she tries to scratch through the walls to escape confinement. So you couldn’t ever have protected Mo from everything. You know all this anyway, but I wanted to say it. And anyway, I imagine he had a wonderful life with you. Keep him in your heart always.

    Steve thank you for giving us this memoir. And it gives me hope to discover that even for an accomplished writer and guru there was a time, a lifetime, that passed before he managed to get his sh*t together.


    • Steven Pressfield on March 29, 2023 at 8:48 am

      Thanks, Peter. Thanks from me and thanks from Mo!

      • Peter Brockwell on March 29, 2023 at 11:40 am

        Steve, you’re very welcome. And know that Mo is now a part of me forever, and so too for everyone who reads Govt Cheese, especially the animal lovers.

    • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 11:17 am

      I just read the “About Me”, on your blog. I know… surprise! I try to see who people are on here and where they are coming from. You are a darn interesting human. You have done a LOT! Your “About Me”, really expresses a drive in you. Well done, young man.

      • Peter Brockwell on March 29, 2023 at 1:53 pm

        Kathy, that’s kind, assuming you mean me, but I feel nowadays like I’m barely maintaining a semblance of sanity and optimism. Every time I mean to add to the blog, I rarely find the time or energy. Ideas aren’t the problem. I’m counting the days until I can be divested of some draining responsibilities and retire to somewhere with significantly less rain, less gloom and less general incompetence, assuming that ever becomes possible financially, which is looking doubtful. To then get more sleep, read more books and regain a sense of lightness. I guess many of us feel like this. And I’m not so young either! Jupiter has been around the sun nearly 4 1/2 times during my life.

        On the contrary I have the impression that everyone else here has a lifetime of incredible experiences, milestones and achievements.


        • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 3:25 pm

          Yup, I meant you Peter.
          Blogs are darn demanding.
          Thank you for the compliment.

      • Peter Brockwell on March 29, 2023 at 1:55 pm

        Kathy, your art is beautiful!! Striking and unique. I would definitely buy some from you if I lived on the same continent.

        It really is extraordinary. Well done YOU!!!!

      • Rebecca J. Briggs on April 5, 2023 at 6:14 am

        I enjoyed reading Gideon’s About Me too… pulling an identity from the drawer each moment to go to regular job… great.

  5. Michael Cameron on March 29, 2023 at 7:36 am

    Thank you for this profound clarity Stephen 🙏
    I’m ready for my artists journey.

  6. Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 8:52 am

    Steve, I’m very sorry about your dear kitty. . I don’t know the story but relate to loss. We do what we can to prolong their lives and our own. Our kitty Charlotte is going to the vet today. She can’t walk. I’ve been distracted over the loss of my husband and didn’t realize, she’s having such a difficult time. She has kidney disease but apparently more than that now. It’s hard.

    I’ve had this painting, in progress, in front of me for about a year and a half now. How can I paint it and not F-up the whole idea of it? There’s a lot of pressure over this painting and its developing meaning. There’s an idea sketched out with distinct brushstrokes. The woman in my painting has so much on her shoulders. She’s a blue being, taking all the dead birds, accompanied by endangered ones, back to the open universe. We don’t deserve them here. She’s a blue being, but roots from trees are digging into her, as she attempts to leave Mother Earth behind, in her misery.

    My husband, Denny, a songwriter, man of PEACE, and teacher to gang zone kids, passed on to his lighter body, April 4th at 4:03 pm, last year. I guess I’m supposed to feel adjusted and ready to create now. No. Nowhere near that recovery. Will I recover? Probably not. Life feels ridiculously senseless. Still… Denny believed in me and felt the series of paintings might have a significant message, if I didn’t get lazy about it all. I guess I will try, but am not sure it’s important to anyone but Denny. I hope he’s there and sees me.

    I took one of our 2 chickens to the vet a couple weeks ago. Lily was limping, which can be a sign of internal issues in chickens.. She’s a 6 year old Silver Lakenvelder hen, who lays few eggs. , How could I just ignore that and wait for a farmers understanding of nature, to take its course? I’m not a farmer. I grow vegetables in the backyard and have 2 chickens. I’m not a farmer. Soo… Lily got antibiotics and just last night, I realized she is no longer limping. Like with my husband, I didn’t expect her to get better. I thought I’d lose everything, after Denny.

    I know, this sounds a bit like a morning journal. It comes together because of cats and people we love and the notion that no matter what, we’ll create the next new thing on our agenda, or at least we’ll eventually try.

    I used to think that what I created had some importance. Denny, and I would discuss my creative endeavors and his, continuously. What were we trying to convey? It all felt so important then. .

    Denny and I discussed my newest effort, sketched out on a 49x30x1 7/8 linen canvas. Using my sculptures as models seemed logical. Models are tricky and unpredictable, so why not just use my sculptures, who share my same opinions? I did. I pained about 12 of them, before my husband passed. We discussed them and he was honest in his reaction. How brave! . They really didn’t SAY anything. Decent work, with a lazy message. So we discussed that. I had my usual tantrums over not accepting the truth. I’ve reached a higher standard. I’m not genius, lol, but after a zillion paintings and sculptures, I’ve refined a few things. So, there’s that. I’m left here on earth, looking at this canvas… still. I’m so afraid of it. I’m afraid that if I add anything I’ll mess up all that Denny and I talked about. I’m afraid too because everything seems pointless to me now. It’s an unfinished conversation that I’m left to complete. I don’t want to. I’m a kid in a candy store with no money and I find that chocolate to taste too harsh now.

    • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 10:22 am

      Steve, I love this. It feels… Humm.., how does it feel to me?


      You wrote, “ But when we finally turn the corner—when we reach our All Is Lost Moment, followed by our Epiphanal Moment—all that adventure shifts.

      It goes inside.

      Our life becomes, now, about the work—the work we’ve been running away from all that time in the wilderness.”


      Hummm… there’s really only creativity and the work, left on the path, for me, at this point.

      It is inside, still.

      I stopped trying to sell my work. Money F?&$’s visions up for me. So now, it’s really only for Denny, but maybe, if I try, I can find that part inside myself… still.

      WHY though? That’s the part that I no longer get. I’m not sure I ever understood that part. WHY?

      You deeply feel that question when you are left with sacred things. Denny loved his guitar and his 2 surfboards that used to be Billy Hamilton’s (Laird’s dad) personal boards.

      Touching those THINGS becomes remarkably profound.

      WHY? Why do we continue to create more? I’m not asking for a religious answer. Been there, done that. I’m truly shaken by the loss of Denny. It’s not that I haven’t known tragedies.. I have! But this one… ohhh. It has unveiled any attempt of mine to create anything of significance, as being for naught. We just keep marching and I’ve lost the rhythm of the steps.

      I honestly do believe that we must create… what else is there? I will eventually, I guess, but I struggle with why.

  7. dea tennacour on March 29, 2023 at 9:03 am

    I really appreciate the demarcations of the human journey that @SP describes for us. All of a sudden after last week’s entry something clicked in my mind about my own journey. That is, the “wilderness” was al those years of running here and there – shadow career (thank you for this btw, no shame), rampant spiritual seeking, raising a family, marriage and divorce, world travel – not all bad stuff but somehow from my inner perspective, futile. All, done in what Fr. Richard Rohr calls “first half of life” experience. Necessary, but also essential to mature through.

    Then somehow all of a sudden (but not really) there WAS an all is lost moment and I can recall it vividly. During Covid: profession felt irretrievably impossible to continue in, I fractured my knee, a short relationship which had put stars in my eyes abruptly ended. I remember saying loud and clear “I’m done,” And I meant done with the whole unconscious wilderness era. It had been years of living there, in fact more like a kalpa, to be precise.
    Long story short, I took early retirement, left urban living and made a conscious entry into a new kind of wilderness. Maybe the desert? Haha literally for me it was the high desert of NM where I willingly entered a period of not knowing, of letting go, of being open, of learning to listen, immersing in Nature. Of study toward my deep interests; a lot of inner quiet time. And somehow new circuits were forming then, that now in hindsight would never have come out of the crazed 1st unconscious wilderness period. There was no room in there for it – but for the dissatisfaction and determination to live something different, which in the end propelled this character forward. Fortunately.

    Epiphanies wow, yes, given by grace…whew! And now I see what the Artist’s journey means and am so grateful to be walking a whole new path. And the good thing is nothing needs to be perfectly in place for this one – it unfolds within moments of abiding – what is it? A combination of presence and action? Plus grace? To the Creative process!! With a heart bow and a leap of joy! Have a wonderful day!

  8. Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 9:06 am

    Good grief, the typos, etc. One finger typing on my iPhone just doesn’t cut it.

  9. Brian Nelson on March 29, 2023 at 9:17 am

    This may/may not be off topic. I recently purged nicotine from my system. 40 years that lovely little chemical coursed through my blood. Began ‘dipping’ Copenhagen as a teenager. Stopped and started numerous times throughout adulthood, but mostly started.

    Kicked Copenhagen three years ago, but held onto the GLORIOUS nicotine through gum and pouches until just recently.

    So–here is why I think it is akin to coming out of the Wilderness–shit, maybe going into the Wilderness with eyes wide open for the first time.

    I had no idea to the degree I masked anxiety. During the withdrawal I chewed the hell out of some Mentos gum, in a frenetic manner. “What the f-bomb is driving me so crazy?”, I’d think as I tore into another piece of gum.

    No one lives a model life, and for me as a kid, home was dangerous and terrifying. Step dad stuff. It sucked. That may be where the anxiety first got its grips into me. So I guess I began to compensate from the age of 5 or 6.

    For the first time in my life, I am 100% open and vulnerable to my interior–and it isn’t pretty. Fear and anxiety have been here all along. I have sublimated the fear through ego and bravado (sports, military, combat,), hidden from it with intoxicants, distracted myself away from it with fiction, video games, sex, or ran away like Steve’s Chevy …and yet when I strip all of this away, fear/anxiety remain.

    Something else interesting happened while going through this ‘exorcism’ of cleaning out the nicotine. I have been cold plunging almost daily this year. A few of weeks ago–few days without out nicotine–I got into the plunge and began to lead from my eyes. I was crying without understanding why I was crying. It was much more akin to leaking.

    I was sobbing without an emotional resonance or reason I could understand. Afterwards I came to my desk, began to write somethings–and then sobbed again–a lot of old sorrow that I had ignored for decades.

    Why I think this may be a Wilderness like issue, it has become much more clear why connection to other people means so much to me. For me it is the only thing that momentarily abates the ever-present, existential terror of being.

    …and this gives me another chapter/explanation with the on again/off again book I’m putting together: Collective Suffering, the Skeleton Key to Building Trust, Compassion, and Cooperation.

    One thing is clear, I really don’t have any damn idea what I’m doing! Pretty good place to start.

    • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 9:43 am

      What you wrote? Beautiful and honest. A man sobbed. I’m always so moved by that.

      I like what you wrote here, “ Why I think this may be a Wilderness like issue, it has become much more clear why connection to other people means so much to me. For me it is the only thing that momentarily abates the ever-present, existential terror of being.”

      You’ve found it. Ya know? You have.

      Continue on!


      • Brian Nelson on March 29, 2023 at 4:39 pm

        Too kind. Thank you.

        We operate a small animal rescue. We’ve lost 38 dogs and cats over the past 20 years, so f-bomb painful–but not a spouse. You’re brave.

        • Kathy on March 30, 2023 at 11:48 am

          Well, that was hard for you. The loss of those precious animals… our dear friends. I’m so sorry.

    • Jackie on March 29, 2023 at 9:53 am

      Congrats on the triumph over nicotine. Not an easy thing to do.

      • Brian Nelson on March 29, 2023 at 4:40 pm

        Thanks Jackie. It is a mike foxtrot of a habit to break. Gained a few pounds, but I know how to make those disappear as well.

    • Peter Brockwell on March 29, 2023 at 10:17 am

      Brian, thanks for sharing with us. I think I’d say to you exactly what I wanted to say to Kathy, and to myself(!) To focus on doin’ the work, not the result. Not my idea – I got it from some clever dude…

      Kathy, your artistic truth is what it is to you. It sounds like it adds meaning to your life, and same with Brian and with me. Don’t overthink it!

      I’ve been trying to half-heartedly construct a skeleton for a novel, and made the mistake of sharing this info with a friend who is a published non-fiction writer on the economics of Scotland, but his fiction that I’ve read is hopeless. It’s not his thing. And he was making ‘helpful suggestions’ like to pants it with zero planning, failing to see that his linear single-thread pieces of non-fiction are utterly unlike a multi-thread multi-POV multiple moving parts plot. And then I realised that for him he’s happy to pants fiction because he cares nothing for the result. Not his non-fiction, which is serious stuff, but for his attempts at fiction, his objective is merely to while away an enjoyable hour.

      In other words, and this was my epiphany, that for him writing (ie pantsing) short fiction is a fun hobby. It’s nothing deep. Whereas for me it’s time I don’t necessarily enjoy time writing – it can be very frustrating – but it’s deeply meaningful. It’s the only thing that makes the difference between feeling at end of day that I haven’t wasted the day. I need to not share my thoughts about writing, ignore well-meaning amateur-level advice, and get the work done. While my friend is an Amateur at fiction, I on the other hand need to take a Pro’s attitude. To be a Pro and get my butt in the chair!

      Just sharing thoughts.

      • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 10:47 am

        How kind of you to post encouragement. Thank you.

        About sharing your writing… or anything creative, it can be brutal, especially when we don’t respect the works of the person offering critique. It can take us down soo fast!

        I took my neighbor out to lunch for her birthday a couple years ago. While we were eating our $30. hamburger, she leaned towards me and said,

        “I think your art is really scary.”


        I didn’t ask her about any of it, but ok. After that she made other comments, adding to how “scary” my work felt to her. WTF!? Well, she hates sex and pretty much decorates in a bland way. Our house has so much art on the walls and on pedestals, it feels like wallpaper. My main objective is to express passion. So, ok, I understood our differences but damn if that didn’t inhibit me! I had a hard time finding that part of me that is able to paint or sculpt passion.

        But! I just want to add that EVERYONE has something to say. I try to never miss a chance to encourage a child or beginner or whatever, that what they created has value. I search for it because our egos are fragile. You can always, always, find some element, some redeeming factor, even if it’’s art using a ballpoint pen on a napkin. Everyone, in every last thing , has a beginning and an end.

    • Maureen Anderson on March 29, 2023 at 11:00 am

      Congratulations on kicking that habit, Brian! What an inspiration. As is your cold plunging. My goal is to finish every hot shower with two minutes of an icy cold blast, but you know what? At the rate I’m going (e-v-e-r so slowly), it’ll take me five years to get there. And you know what else? I don’t care.

      I’m opting out of the “life is a contest” mindset, though it’s proving almost as difficult as (what I imagine) kicking nicotine is. Small wins are still wins. Already, with only a several-second cold blast, I’m not sapped and useless after a shower the way I used to be.

      I love what Steve said about barely driving to the grocery store now. As I learned in neurofeedback training, “You wake up the brain by quieting the thinking mind.” There are entire worlds within all of us, but until you shut down the distractions one by one — almost like turning off the lights as you walk through every room in your house — you might not even notice.

      • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 11:25 am

        Maureen, I saw a bio of yours on Amazon. I looked you up as I try to do with others on here. I wound up on Amazon. Anyway… Darn impressive.

        • Maureen Anderson on March 29, 2023 at 12:06 pm

          Thanks, Kathy! I suppose it depends on how you slice it (life, that is). Because now I’m in this weird space where the gatekeepers love my next project(s) but don’t think I’m a big enough deal to take a risk on.

          There’s a scene in the penultimate episode of the Apple TV+ show Dear Edward (and skip the rest of this paragraph if you plan to watch, because I’m about to spoil something) where Edward discovers the stash of letters people have written him. There was a shot of a letter and then a shot of the person reading it, and soon the room he was in was filled with (imaginary) people screaming at him. I’m in a room like that, except everyone’s screaming at me with warnings I’ll never amount to anything because I don’t have a platform.

          I bet a lot of people who show up here on Wednesdays can relate!

          Now what? Am I really going to fret the rest of my life away, worrying about that? Better, I think, to put in the hours — and let the chips fall.

          There’s nothing more delicious than a blank screen. Still. So there you go. But I have to keep reminding myself how much I love what I love, the scorekeepers be damned.

          • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 3:32 pm

            You know what Steve would tell you hey Maureen? To keep writing.

            I used to do pottery for a living. 20 years of production. I hated it. After that I could not call myself an artist when people asked about me. Finally I got over that and started saying it BOLDLY.

            YOU ARE A STAR MAUREEN! Go ahead and step into those shoes. If these people don’t recognize you as a star? They are just plain silly!

      • Brian Nelson on March 29, 2023 at 4:52 pm

        Thank you. I honestly think the cold plunging helped with dropping the nicotine habit as well. I’m becoming more and more familiar and comfortable with something that previously terrified me and caused me physical pain.

        Not quite a pro-tip with cold: Once you catch your breath–it becomes tranquil. Almost pleasurable. I can now catch my breath in about 20 seconds. I challenge you to stay under the cold the next time until you stop gasping for air–try a breath technique like box-breathing, or 4-7-8 (my fav).

        My first actual plunge in a lake I told myself I’d stay 1 minute. It was a tortuous minute. Next week I did it with a group and told myself, “5-8 minutes”…stayed 11. The calm began around 60 seconds. Now it is almost on demand–well, 20 seconds, but that’s pretty darn fast. Then peace. Then

        Not quite a pro-reflection: The cold immediately plunges (hahahaha) us into the sympathetic nervous system. When we don’t run away, and breathe through it–we are forcing a para-sympathetic response to a terrifying/traumatizing/uncomfortable situation. We are training ourselves to confront the terror with courage. HRV skyrockets. (My own HRV doubles/triples when in the cold).

        “Wake up the brain by quieting the thinking mind”–that is what the plunging feels like to me now.

        I sure do love this place and all the people here!

  10. Derrick on March 29, 2023 at 9:22 am

    Poignant as ever. Thanks, Steven.

  11. Diane Young on March 29, 2023 at 10:07 am

    I wish I could write fiction, but my mind doesn’t work that way. I write magazine articles or I should say WROTE. I’m trying to claw my way out of the Covid doldrums that shut down a number of my markets permanently. I feel like I’m back in 1972 and just starting out. By a fluke, the editor of a Gannett daily invited me to freelance back then and it was a helluva ride for the next two years. I loved the variety and pace. Something new every few days. Exciting to me anyway. Of course, it ruined me from blogging and niching. Thank God, too boring. So, I’m giving listicles a shot, just to stick my toe in the water again.
    During the two-year shutdown, I rather compulsively researched and wrote first drafts for fifteen articles, but I’m having a hard time pitching them to editors. I feel like a stranger in a strange land. Is it fear of the unknown or just plain fear of rejection? Is anyone else feeling like this? I guess I just have to put on my big-girl pants and send out some pitches or I might as well hang up my rock ‘n roll shoes. No guts, no glory!

    • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 10:56 am

      My artist rep died. He was the one who showed my art in New York and made me feel like a star. Losing that, left me back with, how to begin, again! I guess being a “star”, is not in my destiny. That’s all I could think. You spend so much energy on being seen and heard that it’s supposed to last! Isn’t it? Lol, apparently not.

      Anyway, much success with your new ventures. I believe you can do it, because you want to. You’ve got this!

  12. Sam Luna on March 29, 2023 at 10:58 am

    There’s an enormous sense of loss and uncertainty in the air these days. Reading these comments only reinforced that for me this morning. 

    Kathy — I appreciate you sharing your grief here and how it affects your artistic journey. I saw Joyce Carol Oates speak once and the majority of her talk was about how long she stopped writing after her husband passed, because it felt meaningless to do so.

    Brian — I add my congrats and also share frustration in the lifelong pursuit of healthy, meaningful habits to quiet our anxious monkey minds. Also, write that book, I want to read it.

    Peter — as a fellow fiction writer I too am plagued by bad or stupid advice. “Write 4 books a year.” “Write 2,000 words a day.” “Don’t outline.” A book takes as long as it takes. 

    Dea — I grew up in the high desert of New Mexico and ran to urban living as an escape. Funny how the grass is always greener. 

    Diane — my wife is a super talented miniature artist and has also found herself paralyzed by post shutdown roadblocks, both mental and logistical. 

    Great post and comments today. Thanks as always. 

    • Kathy on March 29, 2023 at 11:34 am

      Sam… I just looked you up. Holy moly! You write!! I am encouraged by you.

      How long did Joyce Carol Oates grieve till she wrote again? Just curious.

      • Sam Luna on March 29, 2023 at 1:56 pm

        I honestly don’t remember, Kathy, but it looks like she wrote a book about it called “A Widow’s Story.”

        • Kathy on March 30, 2023 at 11:50 am

          Oh, thank you. I’ll check it out.

        • Kathy on March 30, 2023 at 11:57 am

          I found it on Audible too. Only a leather bound on Amazon. It looks to be a good book for me. I have my own gripe about Hospice and the the hospital my husband went to after the horrendous experience with Hospice. Were we comforted by Hospice? No. But that’s a whole other subject, not meant for here.

      • Sam Luna on March 29, 2023 at 2:57 pm

        Also can I say I really dig your watercolor work … and I hope you find a path back to your art in your own time.

        • Kathy on March 30, 2023 at 11:58 am

          Thank you. I have plans to illustrate my poetry in watercolors, when I’m doing better.

  13. Carole'Diane on March 30, 2023 at 8:37 am

    I feel as if my whole life has been lost in The Wilderness of isolation, rejection, ostracism, trauma and abuse to intense to mention here and many decades have gone missing. I reached my All is Lost Moment from a very young age and never really knew who I was or what I was mean to be, so The Epiphial Moment came much later in life, that I am a writer. I used to scribble unintelligible words into blank note books as a kid, not even knowing why or what I was trying to say. Little did I realise I was meant to be a writer and have spent many years of my life writing my true story, but life and people have got in the way and others prevented me from speaking up, writing, sabotaged my purpose and goal. I am an Empath, have suffered much grief and sorrow but always given of myself to others before myself and my dream of becoming a published author. I know, without a shadow of a doubt it is my calling, I have helped so many people with my knowledge and insights to healing their paths, achieved a great deal against all adversities and yet not myself. I understand what it feels liek to be lost in The Wilderness of Life, losing one’s dreams and goals and giving up on one’s purpose. I am still treading the lonely paths staring into the horizon but seeing nothing, feeling All is Lost and lose hope of ever achiveing my sloul purpose, to help people heal and in doing so, heal myself. I lost my Soulmate who died in my arms , my heartdog and soul furbaby also died in my arms and I cimpketely lost myself and all reason to bother going on, writing unintelligible dribble and once again, I deserted myself in the process. I have lost so many loved ones, humans and animals and once again, am suffering repeated traumas of abuse which has taken years to free myself from only to find it is happening all over again and my mind is lost in the wilderness once again. I can no longer function, think straight, feel so much grief and pain but I still continue to write, journal, yet have no idea how to find and get published. I have an inner strength that drives me forward for I know my Epiphinal Moment will come when I see my book published and my goals achieved. Then I will find the Peace that has evaded me all my life, to know I have not been writing unintelligible dribble, I know in my heart and soul, what I write comes from the heart, true, honest, sincere and even makes me cry to write and relive the lost years that I feel have been wasted, but if I can help one person not to suffer all I have, then my goals and dreams will have been achieved and Peace will be mine. I feel I want to run and hide in a shack, isolate myself away from all disruptions,live in the Wilderness but by choice, not by others opinions, rejections, critiscisms and their selfish influences making me live in the shadows to protect them. I am desperate to become published, but after many years of trying to find out how to get my work out there has always been a road block, a mental struggle, a crossroads of which path to take and thus it has prevented me from fulfilling my dreams and what I was born to be and prove, I will not bow down to others anymore, be controlled, I will, somehow, be heard, for I am no longer afraid, I think its being afraid all my life that has prevented me from continuing with my writing, my poetry, my photography, my dreams due to ridicule, sibling rivalry, threats and warnings that has created much ill health and suffering because I hace kept it all locked up inside of me all my life to protect them, but no more. I will not take my story to my grave knowing I could, do and will help others to realise that we are all unique, our inner voices are there for a reason, to follow our goals in whichever direction it is telling us to regardless of what life throws at us or others do to us. We are here for a reason and although it gets stifled and hidden by life’s curveballs, we must never give up on ourselves, our goals, our purpose and end up living in the Wilderness for the rest of our lives, I am driven, even when I dont feel like it, or want to do it or even know how, but still I continue to write my story (destroyed by others so many times) and re-written by myself. I will not give up for the Wilderness only exists due to the frustration of not achieving our goals, losing sight of who we are, our gifts, our knowledge, our insights and thus low self esteem and confidence disappears into the far off distance into the Forest of Distinction never to be seen or heard or read. Thats the All is Lost Moment. The Ephiphibal Moment is chopping thos trees down, metaphorically speaking off course, and showing the world and the disbelivers that we will, like the Pheonix, rise from the ashes a better, stronger and more confident and fulfilled person. I am a confident, independant woman with excessive patience and ubderstanding but this is my time now and I really wish I could find that shack, get my drive back, find myself again and find someone to help me achieve the ultimate Epiphiny, that I will be published for I am worth it and the world and others need to know that. You all hear now need to kinow, we are all treading different paths in that wilderness, but together or alone, someone, somewhere, will walk beside us and guide us and pull us out of the darkness into the light and help us to achieve our dreams, goals, soul purpose and ambitions. Never give up that hope or on yourself. We will all make it. Somehow.We were meant to, thats why we have gifts to be shared, voices to be heard, stories to tell and yes, sometimes, it really hurts along the way, but our inner voice is where the answers lie and we must silence our own inner critic and get out of our own way and do whatever we were botn to do.,

    • Carole'Diane on March 30, 2023 at 10:01 am

      Oh My. I apologise for the typo’s and insufficient spacing and lack of paragraphs, but to be honest, once I start writing, I just cannot stop. So cathartic to get back to doing what I love and thats when that elusive Epiphany Moment arrives and the words just flow. Automatic writing from the heart, desperation to be heard and excitement inspired by so many other wonderful posts and experiences of others.

      Whilst writing, I come out of the Wilderness and find my voice again. Thank you every one and good luck in your own personal journeys out of the Wilderness. You will find yourself again, just as I have today. How long it will last, well, thats another matter. I can only hope and pray I will continue to write until I have become published.

      I sent too soon before editing. Sorry.

      • Kathy on March 30, 2023 at 12:02 pm

        Carole’Diane, no, no… You wrote from your heart and inner being. You expressed! I apologized for my typos too, but really, it’s the message, that we told it, that cures us. 🍃🌸🍃

        • Carole'Diane on April 1, 2023 at 9:30 am

          Hi Kathy. Thank you so much for your understanding and encouragement.

          I am so sorry for your loss and grief, I too have, and still do, feel exactly the same. Losing our “WHY” do we continue is such an underestimated pain that so many just do not understand.

          The “WHY” do we continue when we feel we just dont have anything left within our psyche to give nor even find a reason to. I too lost my Soulmate who I nursed and he died in my arms at home. I lost my Heart Soul furbaby doggie to who was poisoined and have suffered the total rejection, ostracisation, ridicule, threats of family and friends, the price the Empaths and creatives pay, for writing my story of heinous abuse which started as a very young child.

          I have forever asked myself “WHY” do I bother. WHY do I go on when I dont want to or feel I have anything to offer, but somehow, I just DO GO ON. We are driven by an inner strength. WHY?? Beause we were given gifts, talents, a voice, a reason to go on ….. to help others!

          Our work matters. We matter. What others think should not matter, but you do and Denny would be very proud of you for fighting the WHY and is giving you the strenth to say “WHY NOT, he encouraged you to continue because he believed in you, it is what we are meant to do, and to believe in ourselves again and we will not find Peace and acceptance until we continue with our goals, our dreams, our purpose.

          So you go on fighting the “WHY’s” and find your “WHY NOT”. You were meant to continue regardless, as the strong, stoic, empathic woman that you sound to be, just as I know I am. Its painful I know, but one day, it will heal the self destructive patterns called procrastination, stop the triggers and painful questions and doubts as to the “WHY” and you, like me, I hope, will be glad that we followed our hearts, stopped asking WHY, and follow the “WHY NOT”, for thats where the answer’s lay and the success and healing begins.

          So dont give up. Yes, I agree with you, our message, our purpose, our goals, our gifts, our voices, typo’s and all, are what cures us, and WHY, because it needs to be seen and heard, others need to see and hear what we have to say because it matters to them and we have the gifts that will do just that. 🌸🌺🌷

  14. Emma Harriet on May 31, 2023 at 2:58 am

    Publicación muy informativa. Eres un gran escritor. Estoy esperando tu Acompañantes buenos aires publicación más.

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