(Pressfield wrote the similarly epic The War of Art and Do the Work, and established the idea that when you do creative work of any kind, there is a monster called “resistance” that will do almost anything to keep you from working. The War of Art was described by Seth Godin as “why didn’t anyone tell me this book existed?!” to set the pedigree, so to speak. Read them!)
Pressfield says that he learned most of the lessons that turned into No One Wants from his almost ten years writing ad copy within an agency. He says that understanding that no one actually wants to read your book, your ad, watch your video, see your Tik Tok, smell your candles, look around your shop (etc) is the first step to being a creative professional.
No one cares that you slaved away at that poem (article, ad, photo, painting, et al) for hours. No one cares that you think it’s your best work. They are busy and at no time in their day did they think, “I wonder if there’s an interesting poem out there?” No one wakes up wanting what you’re producing.
And that’s a good thing. That’s the first obstacle you need to overcome: create work good enough to the reader/viewer/customer that it is worth stopping what they are doing, changing their plans, and reading your shit. Getting people to become interested in your work is the crucible that creates great work.
But our world has no such crucible.
When Pressfield wrote No One Wants, he was thinking about your ad, your book, your blog post: no one wants to read it. It is not necessary to sustaining life or keeping your family safe. They are creative works, and thus do not have any inherent demand. No one is begging you to write more stuff.
But, we work in a space where what we sell is 100% life-sustaining. Getting a job is how we feed and house ourselves and our families and everyone already knows that. Everyone knows what a job is. Everyone already knows they need one (if you agree, talk to a graduating senior who is realizing that college is over and they need to FIND A JOB!!! That’s real panic).
You can write the absolute WORST job posting in the world and people still apply. There’s no real reason to create good marketing because… people still buy your product!