Sometimes people will ask me, “What do you do between books?” And my answer to that is “There should never be ‘between books.‘”— Steven Pressfield
Steven Pressfield (@SPressfield) was 52 years old before his first novel was published. Since then, he has written the million-sellers Gates of Fire and The War of Art, as well as The Legend of Bagger Vance, A Man at Arms, and many others. His newest book, the memoir GOVT CHEESE, is about those years before that first publication. It is coming out on December 30th, and you can pre-order signed copies here.
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Would you like to hear the last time Steven was on the show? Have a listen to our conversation in which we discussed cat role models, halfway house theories, working world self-sabotage, overcoming 30 years of abject failure to become a successfully prolific writer, the hero’s journey versus the artist’s journey, shadow careers, tailoring a routine to fit one’s own creative process, and much more.
What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
SCROLL BELOW FOR LINKS AND SHOW NOTES…
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with Steven Pressfield:
- Govt Cheese: A Memoir by Steven Pressfield
- Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae by Steven Pressfield | Amazon
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield | Amazon
- The Legend of Bagger Vance: A Novel of Golf and the Game of Life by Steven Pressfield | Amazon
- A Man at Arms: A Novel by Steven Pressfield | Amazon
- Steven Pressfield — How to Overcome Self-Sabotage and Resistance, Routines for Little Successes, and The Hero’s Journey vs. The Artist’s Journey | The Tim Ferriss Show #501
- Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl G. Jung | Amazon
- Hidden Brain
- How to Start a War by Tim Ferriss | Grails by PROOF Collective
- The Big Reveal: The Legend of CØCKPUNCH — Kevin Rose and Tim Ferriss on Tim’s New and Extremely Bizarre Art Project | The Tim Ferriss Show #636
- Announcing My New Fiction Podcast Series | The Tim Ferriss Show #640
- A Game of Thrones Series by George R.R. Martin | Amazon
- Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process by John McPhee | Amazon
- Top Gun: Maverick | Prime Video
- The Right Stuff | Prime Video
- The German ‘Lightning War’ Strategy Of WW2 | Imperial War Museums
- Writing Wednesdays: Finishing and Starting | Steven Pressfield
- The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield | Amazon
- Steven Pressfield: Conquering Resistance | Rich Roll
- In the Wilderness Pt. 1 | Steven Pressfield, Instagram
- In the Wilderness Pt. 2 | Steven Pressfield, Instagram
- In the Wilderness Pt. 3 | Steven Pressfield, Instagram
- The Odyssey by Homer | Amazon
- Camus and Absurdity | Philosophy Talk
- Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr | Amazon
- What is the Highest Land Speed That One Can Achieve in the USA? | Richland Library
- WTF Happened to Government Cheese? | Vice
- [05:51] Ambition in a halfway house.
- [09:30] Evanescent dreams.
- [10:37] Helpful self-delusions.
- [13:28] What’s in a name?
- [19:18] Trimming fiction’s fat beyond the first draft.
- [22:06] The Paul Rink method of maintaining Blitzkrieg momentum.
- [25:48] Other pearls of Paul Rink perspicacity.
- [28:08] A transition from aspiring fiction writer to prolific author.
- [32:05] A hint from Hemingway.
- [33:15] Positive self-delusion.
- [35:26] Writing fiction isn’t self-indulgence. It’s an obligation.
- [40:44] How does writing fiction fit into my life? Is it a top priority?
- [51:04] Why Steven wrote Govt Cheese.
- [53:34] A pivotal slap in the face.
- [55:48] Seeking home from the wilderness.
- [58:46] Banishing depression by finding profundity in the absurd.
- [1:04:12] The novelty of absurdity isn’t necessarily negative.
- [1:05:29] Icing on the cake.
- [1:06:49] Two years I spent in the wilderness without a compass.
- [1:09:33] Richard Rohr’s vessel.
- [1:12:49] Handling the voltage.
- [1:14:31] What did it feel like for Steven to write this memoir?
- [1:16:25] The origin of the title Govt Cheese.
- [1:18:55] What you, dear listener, should know about this book.
- [1:20:49] Parting thoughts.
MORE GUEST QUOTES FROM THE INTERVIEW
“Sometimes people will ask me, ‘What do you do between books?’ And my answer to that is ‘There should never be ‘between books.””
— Steven Pressfield
“When we have an idea, we are pregnant with that idea. And that idea has a life of its own. It wants to be born. And if we don’t let it be born, we’ll pay the price one way or another.”
— Steven Pressfield
“Any time something is brand new, it seems absurd.”
— Steven Pressfield
“Writing is about delivering a load and its sustenance. You hope it’s sustenance, right? It’s a load of surplus food, of gvt cheese, that’s going to go on people’s tables.”
— Steven Pressfield
- Carl Jung
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Telamon of Arcadia
- Daenerys Targaryen
- Brienne of Tarth
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Paul Rink
- Seth Godin
- Leo Tolstoy
- Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Jim Mattis
- Saddam Hussein
- Rich Roll
- Albert Camus
- Christopher Columbus
- Richard Rohr
- Bruce Springsteen
- Twyla Tharp
- Stephen King
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.