Month: August 2010

COIN Strategy vs. COIN Tactics

By Andrew Lubin | 51 Comments

The photo in Laura King’s Los Angeles Times article “‘Three cups of tea’ a byword for U.S. effort to win Afghan hearts and minds” shows why the war in Afghanistan is not going well for the United States. As Ms. King so aptly explains, the phrase “three cups of tea” has been adapted from the Greg Mortenson best-seller of the same name by the American military as the basis of how to conduct a counterinsurgency campaign.

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Sticking Points

By Steven Pressfield | 21 Comments

[In keeping with last week’s “Writer’s Journal” and the idea that the Last Push on a project is always the hardest (with the possible exception of the First Push … or is it the Middle Push?), I thought it might make sense to bring back this earlier post entitled “Sticking Points.” [Two facts that all artists and entrepreneurs can agree upon is that sticking points inevitably occur–and at thoroughly predictable times in the process. Part of being a professional is being mentally prepared for these rough patches. I did an interview earlier this year with Gen. Hal G. Moore, who…

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A Writer’s Journal, Day #1061

By Steven Pressfield | 4 Comments

Day Six: this will be a very short post. I’m giving myself the next two days off—and giving you, dear friends, the same. Yesterday I got through the final sticking point in the draft, and now all is right with the world. I’ll wrap with this one thought: From age twenty-two till almost thirty, Resistance had me utterly defeated. The form my malady took was that I couldn’t finish anything. I’d get 99% of the way through and then I’d act out, freak out, bail out. I was powerless. Resistance had me absolutely in its grip. Now, three decades later,…

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A Writer’s Journal, Day #1060

By Steven Pressfield | 8 Comments

Day Five of “Journal of Finishing a Novel.” I’m in the “revisit” stage, meaning going back to finish a sequence that I bypassed in the march to THE END. We’re only a few hundred feet below the summit now; the idea of faltering has become unthinkable. Whatever it takes, we’ll do it. As for this journal, I’m going to try something today that may be so obscure that it doesn’t communicate at all—but I’ll attempt it in the hope that it’ll be helpful to anyone who’s following these posts. What I want to do is share some of my friend/editor/agent…

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A Writer’s Journal, Day #1059

By Steven Pressfield | 9 Comments

Day Four of “Journal of Finishing a Novel” and we’re done! Yesterday’s work took us all the way to THE END. I think it works. I hope so. But I will not drive myself crazy, chewing it over. Instead I will start today, as soon as I finish writing this post, revisiting and reworking a couple of sticking points in the narrative that I’ve bypassed on the headlong march to the finish. These go-backs can be particularly scary. In fact I’m more trepidatious about today’s work–and the next few days’–than I was about the actual climax. The alternative to bypassing…

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Erik Proulx

By Callie Oettinger | 4 Comments

The film “Lemonade” was my introduction to Erik Proulx. It is inspiring, uplifting, motivating—all the good stuff—and is a strong reminder of our abilities to reinvent ourselves—hard-charge our dreams, at any moment. A 15-year veteran of the advertising industry, Erik created commercials for brands like Volvo, Fidelity Investments, GMC Trucks, and Perdue Chicken. Then, two days after being offered a raise and a promotion, his agency laid him off without ceremony. He responded by creating “Lemonade” and the blog Please Feed The Animals. His experience, combined with the collective experience of the hundreds of people he’s interviewed for Lemonade (the…

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A Writer’s Journal, Day #1058

By Steven Pressfield | 14 Comments

Okay, Day Three. Momentum is strong and I will hit it hard again today. (If you’re just tuning in, please scroll back to the prior two posts—yesterday and the day before—to see what this is all about.) Though Resistance is monumental, at least for me, when I get close to the end of a project, there is one happy tailwind (beyond knowing exactly what the beats of the story have to be) and that is that in the climax to anything there’s no time for digression or description or exposition. It’s pedal to the metal all the way. Momentum, momentum,…

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A Writer’s Journal, Day #1057

By Steven Pressfield | 11 Comments

This is Day Two of our week-long, one-post-every-day “Journal of Finishing A Novel.” (See yesterday’s post for Day One.) Today’s work will be a lot scarier than yesterday’s because today I’ll really get into the meat of the climax–a long scene that has to work or the whole book fails. My method for dealing with this kind of anxiety is not to think about it at all. I’ll just do it. Couple of notes: 1) By no means will today’s work be “winging it.” I know exactly what beats have to be hit and in what order. The climax’s shape…

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By Callie Oettinger | 0 Comments
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A Writer’s Journal, Day #1056

By Steven Pressfield | 17 Comments

I’m going to try something different this week. Instead of one full-length post that stays up for seven days, I’m gonna do short, one-a-day “journal entries.” A new one will go up Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, all week. The reason I’m trying this this week is that, in my real writing life, I’m just now plunging in on the last ten or twelve pages of the novel I’ve been working on for the past three years. I’m thinking that a real-time, “under the helmet” look at one writer’s process might be of interest. To implement this, I’m going to borrow the…

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