Writing lessons from Steve Martin

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post about actor and writer Steve Martin….

As a long-term fan of Steve Martin, I appreciate more than his zany sense of humour, his acting and writing skill and his ability to play the banjo. I also value his unflinching commitment to hard work.

I think Martin is one of the hardest-working artists on the face of the planet right now. My evidence? Much of it comes from his funny and interesting memoir Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life, which I read in 2016.

I was reminded of Martin’s hardworking attitude last week when I read a Medium piece by Bryan Collins headlined, “What Steve Martin Said After Becoming Wildly Successful.” Collins summarizes Martin’s philosophy under the following headers:

  • Don’t be afraid of your mistakes
  • Learn how to fail in public
  • Treat success and failure the same
  • Put your time in

And here’s a PS that many writers will appreciate. “Martin, like many successful artists, has struggled with self-doubt throughout his career, but he found a way to push through those moments and embrace wild and crazy successes.”

If you’re struggling as a writer, consider the lessons you can learn from Steve Martin.