Steven Pressfield explains that during our hero’s journey, we accumulate experiences. We grow and learn, and create a history. In a way, it’s our backstory. It’s our lives. According to the monomyth structure, in the final stage of the journey the hero returns to ordinary life with the elixir, also known as the special gift or the lessons learned. We come home wiser and with a few scars.
As writers, we bring that special gift with us as we begin our artist’s journey. The gift is our artistry; it’s the books we’ll write.
I talk to a lot of writers. I can count on one hand the number of them who have considered themselves artists.
What would happen if we started to look at our work this way? If we didn’t think of it as writing a book, but as creating a work of art, would we craft it more carefully? Would we study the masters the way painters study Picasso?
Would we still focus on how fast we can write a book, or would we focus on how well we can write a book?