Steven Pressfield Blog

“I wasn’t even operational”

Do you know the word “operational?” I didn’t. 

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Sweating Through Your Flight Suit

Here is a scene I heard over and over, interviewing Israeli fighter pilots (and I’m sure it’s commonplace in air forces and other combat units all over the world.)

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When panic strikes …

Can you stand another Fighter Pilot Wisdom post? Let’s start with another moment from our friend, fighter ace Giora Romm. Flying in the north of Israel on Day Two of the Six Day War, Giora’s Mirage IIIC got hit by an enemy missile. Here’s Giora describing his situation:

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“Just write the damn thing!”

Let’s get back to our “fighter pilot wisdom” series.

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Abrahams on the carpet

Here’s another “hand over your badge and your gun” moment, but without a badge or a gun. It comes from the movie Chariots of Fire, which won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay in 1981.

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“And the Bad Version is … “

This comes via my friend Charlie Daly, who got it from a screenwriter friend of his.

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“Your badge and your gun”

We were working on the script for the first Steven Seagal movie, Above the Law. The director, Andy Davis, said, “We need a scene where Steve is ordered to turn in his badge and his gun.”

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Elevating the Threshold of Panic

Picking up from last week’s post in our series on Fighter Pilot Wisdom, here’s more from fighter ace Ran Ronen:

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The Mission like a movie

Continuing our series on Fighter Pilot Wisdom, here is Ran Ronen, one of the most celebrated combat fliers and commanders (he died in 2016 as a retired brigadier general) in the history of the Israel Air Force.

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“Dvekut baMesima”

When I was doing research in Israel for The Lion’s Gate, I spent hours and hours interviewing fighter pilots. I had never known any before; I had no conception of their unique and super-specific mindset, the way they were trained to think and to prepare for life-and-death missions in the sky. I was amazed. I found these airmen’s way of thinking not only fascinating but extremely applicable to the way you and I work as writers and artists.

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A Man At Arms is on sale!

do the work book banner 1

DO THE WORK

Steve shows you the predictable Resistance points that every writer hits in a work-in-progress and then shows you how to deal with each one of these sticking points. This book shows you how to keep going with your work.

noboybookcover

NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR SH*T

Steve shares his "lessons learned" from the trenches of the five different writing careers— advertising, screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, and self-help. This is tradecraft. An MFA in Writing in 197 pages.

The-War-of-Art

THE WAR OF ART

Read this one first.
It identifies the enemy—what I call Resistance with a capital “R,” i.e. fear, self-doubt, procrastination, perfectionism, all the forms of self-sabotage—that stop us from doing our work and realizing our dreams.
Start here.
Everything else proceeds from this.

Turning-Pro

TURNING PRO

Amateurs have amateur habits. Pros have pro habits. When we turn pro, we give up the comfortable life but we find our power. Steve answers the question, "How do we overcome Resistance?"

The-Authentic-Swing

THE AUTHENTIC SWING

A short book about the writing of a first novel: for Steve, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Having failed with three earlier attempts at novels, here's how Steve finally succeeded.

do the work book banner 1

DO THE WORK

Steve shows you the predictable Resistance points that every writer hits in a work-in-progress and then shows you how to deal with each one of these sticking points. This book shows you how to keep going with your work.