I’ve been reading a lot of excerpts from Steven Pressfield’s blog lately. He’s become quite big when it comes to writing about creativity. And he has a lot to say on the subject.
I don’t quite agree with some of his conclusions, but, in many matters, I think he’s spot-on.
Here’s a passage I read recently that really jived with me. It’s a subject I’ve discovered leads to resistance when talking with people who don’t understand the importance or need for works of fiction:
THE ARTIST’S JOURNEY IS A JOURNEY OF DREAMS
I never wrote anything good until I stopped trying to write the truth. I never had any real fun either.
Truth is not the truth.
Fiction is the truth.
The artist’s medium is not reality, but dreams. I don’t mean “dreams” in the sense of made-up bullsh*t. I mean dreams as the X-ray of truth, truth seen through and seen for what it really is, truth boiled down to its essence.
The conventional truism is “Write what you know.” But something mysterious and wonderful happens when we write what we don’t know. The Muse enters the arena. Stuff comes out of us from a source we can neither name nor locate.
Where is it coming from? The “unconscious?” The “field of potentiality?”
I don’t know.
But I’ve had the same experience over and over. When I write something that really happened, people read it and say, “Sounds phony.”
When I pull something completely out of thin air, I hear, “Wow, that was so real!”
(FYI, I've edited the naughty word, you know, for the kids)
This is a portion of his serialized version of The Artist's Journey. You can find the full post here