51 | How John Steinbeck Reinvented His Craft

26m | Feb 7, 2024

Why did John Steinbeck almost give up writing novels? 

In this episode of The Craft, Carter and Colby inaugurate a new series, Creative Case Studies. Their first installment is a story about American writer John Steinbeck. Specifically, Carter recounts Steinbeck’s creative collapse after writing The Grapes of Wrath. In the midst of personal and professional tumult, Steinbeck attempted to reinvent his craft and develop a new way of thinking. Carter and Colby discuss this creative transformation, considering how we might learn from Steinbeck’s crisis. 



0:00 Introduction 

2:55 Steinbeck bio

4:11 Crisis and reinvention 

14:28 Takeaways 


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Cover art by Elizabeth Newell. Learn more about her work at or on Instagram @elizabethisadesigner.

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The Craft: Exploring the Creative Process