"They were drinking heavily and getting into trouble. One day a friend took them aside. 'You guys need a mission, some epic endeavor that will capture your imaginations and enlist your energies. Otherwise you'll end up in jail or dead.'
The friend suggested they write a book about the (real historical) voyage of the H.M.S. Bounty. What a story! What a challenge! The research would take the two to Tahiti, to England, all around the world.
Maybe they'd stop drinking and start working.
-Steven Pressfield, The Authentic Swing