Month: June 2010

Loving A Writer

By Steven Pressfield | 31 Comments

Are you in love with a writer? Are you sure about this? Sure you don’t want to try someone easier on your heart, like a bull rider, a Black Ops commando or a motorcycle stuntman? Herewith, from painful experience, a few guidelines for those who have given their hearts to servants of the literary Muse. (The following observations apply equally, of course, to actors, artists, musicians, comedians, entrepreneurs and all others of this particularly unruly stripe). Please, lovers, keep the following in mind: 1) Writers are not normal. E.L. Doctorow calls writing “a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” What he…

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Start At The End

By Steven Pressfield | 18 Comments

Last week we were talking about first drafts (Cover the Canvas, 6/9/10). The idea was to get Draft #1 done from beginning to end, no matter what, even if it wasn’t perfect. The reason? Because once we’ve got a first draft, we’re re-writing, not writing. Writing is too freakin’ hard. The obvious next question (or maybe it’s the preceding question) is: “Okay, but how do we decide what’s in the first draft?” Work from back to front Here’s a principle that screenwriters use: Start at the end. Begin with the climax, then work backwards. I’m a big fan of this…

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Sunni Brown

By Steven Pressfield | 13 Comments

I was introduced to Sunni Brown via the visual book summaries she did of The War of Art. I’ve read different things people have written about the book in the past, but this was the first visual. And it blew my mind. I’ve talked about doing a “2.0” version of The War of Art in the past. Sunni’s work introduced me to what one part of 2.0 might look like—kind of like going from living in the first dimension book world to the fourth dimension multi-media world, where we work on multiple “planes.” On her site, there’s a quote about…

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Karzai’s Counterinsurgency Strategy

By Mac McCallister | 30 Comments

Marc Ambinder, politics editor of The Atlantic, explains that there exists a general perception among theorists and policy planners in the Pentagon’s policy shop that General McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy has failed to sustain Hamid Karzai’s government in critical areas and is therefore destined to ultimately fail. “This is not how the war is supposed to be going. . .” So, why isn’t the war going as planned? Maybe we should assess the counterinsurgency effort from President Karzai’s perspective and focus less on our Americo-centric point of view. What is President Karzai’s counterinsurgency strategy? President Karzai’s “clear-hold-build-consolidate” approach to counterinsurgency is…

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Cover the Canvas

By Steven Pressfield | 23 Comments

Is the first draft the hardest? Is it different from a third draft, or a twelfth? Does a first draft possess unique challenges that we have to attack in a one-of-a-kind way? Yes, yes and yes. First drafts are killers A first draft is different from (and more difficult than) all subsequent drafts because in a first draft we’re filling the blank page. And we know what that means: Resistance. Here’s my mantra for first drafts. Cover the canvas. What that means is get something done from A to Z, no matter how imperfect.  A first draft doesn’t have to…

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Mark Safranski

By Steven Pressfield | 7 Comments

I met Mark Safranski last year, just after launching “It’s the Tribes, Stupid.” Soon after the videos launched, he wrote a post for his blog “Zenpundit.”  Though he didn’t agree with everything I said, he showed respect for the effort. That’s one sign of a professional. He might not always agree with you, but he’ll respect the effort, and avoid personal attacks. In addition to setting a high standard for blogging at ZenPundit, Mark holds an MA in diplomatic history and an MS.Ed in administration, is a teacher, educational consultant and was an adviser to a privately held internet platform company, Conversationbase,…

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Second Act Problems

By Steven Pressfield | 29 Comments

I’m reading a terrific book by David Mamet called Three Uses of the Knife. It’s not a play or a novel, it’s a treatise on the subject of drama. There’s some great stuff in it, particularly in the section Mamet calls “Second Act Problems,” that we as writers, artists, entrepreneurs (and just plain human beings) can profit from. All writers know: Act One is easy. You come up with some crazy idea and heave it against the wall. Act Three isn’t that hard either. We’ve figured out where we’re going; we just tromp on the accelerator and go there. Ah,…

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Pixelated Image

By Callie Oettinger | 0 Comments
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To Write Is Right

By Callie Oettinger | 0 Comments
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300 Spartan Warriors

By Callie Oettinger | 0 Comments
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