Month: November 2013


By Shawn Coyne | 10 Comments

Here’s another chunk from the book that is slowly killing me…THE STORY GRID. Conflict drives stories.  Without it, nothing happens.  The words just sit there, inert like your uncle Lou in his Barcalounger on Sunday afternoon. Even though we spend most of our time avoiding it, it’s important to remember that conflict is not “bad.”  In fact, it’s the thing that gives life energy, instills in us a sense of controlling our own destiny.  How we manage conflict, how we act when up against Resistance makes us who we are. As hard as it is to believe, getting everything you…

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Booking Your Own Tour

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

Though it’s sometimes hard for me to take in, I know that numbers of people look to me as a mentor. Well, I have a mentor too. His name is David Leddick. He was my first boss, in advertising, on the Revlon account at Grey Advertising in New York. David will be 84 in January. Is he a doddering old fart? You judge. Since ’95, when he “retired,” David has written 25 books (no, that’s not a typo), including six novels. Since 2000 when he resumed his performing career (he had been a dancer at the Metropolitan Opera and with…

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Foolscap Anything

By Steven Pressfield | 6 Comments

I’m excited to announce we have a new series to add to the blog! When we were promoting The Authentic Swing we asked for questions you’d like Shawn and I to answer in an hour long podcast. We received an overwhelming number of great questions, over 250 of them, and in that first hour only made it through about a dozen. So Shawn and I got back on Skype and decided to start recording more. This space on Mondays will be for short audio clips—however long it takes for us to answer just one question. If you’ve already signed up…

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Developing Multiple Revenue Streams

By Callie Oettinger | 13 Comments

The Nov. 18 edition of Fortune Magazine contains a story about Barefoot Books and Nancy Traversy, who: Pulled out of national store chains years ago because they made her eat large quantities of unsold books . . . AND Severed her relationship with Amazon this year out of frustration over its discounting of her products. AND Sells via partnerships with companies like Lakeshore Learning and a network of home-based sellers called Ambassadors. AND Marched into the digital age with its award-winning Barefoot World Atlas app for the iPhone and iPad, already downloaded 4 million times. (Side note: That app is…

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Advanced Forms of Resistance

By Steven Pressfield | 55 Comments

[Some quick notices before we get into today’s post: [Remember the “Ask Me Anything” Q&A we did a few weeks ago? The hour-long audio went out then to everyone who had signed up for First Look Access. Well, since then Shawn and I and Jeff have recorded three more half-hour AMAs from that original batch of questions—questions we didn’t have time to get to in the first AMA. [We’ll be sending the first half-hour audio out by e-mail on Monday. The other two will follow between then and the New Year. All are free, no sales pitches. [If you have…

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Gut Check

By Shawn Coyne | 17 Comments

You’ve heard this story before, but I’m going to tell it again. It’s from a wonderful book by A. Scott Berg published in 1978. A young writer’s first novel, nontraditional in structure and language, lands on the desk of the editor-in-chief at a big publishing company. He reads a few pages and pushes it off on a newbie editor who’d just been transferred from the advertising department. The neophyte doesn’t know that editors-in-chief don’t pass manuscripts to their underlings unless they are certain passes. With no understanding of what people would want to read beyond his own predilections, a week…

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“Poof Goes the Middle Class”

By Steven Pressfield | 65 Comments

When I was a kid my dad’s dream for me was that I would become an engineer and work all my life for Lockheed or G.E.  In other words be an employee. That was how the middle-class dream expressed itself in the days of American pre-eminence post-WWII, before the European countries had rebuilt their shattered economies, before the rise of Asia, India, South America, before outsourcing, before globalization, before the satellite and the microchip and the web. Now all we hear is that the American Dream is dead. As I write this, I’m looking at an article in the L.A.…

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Resistance and Self-Loathing

By Steven Pressfield | 44 Comments

Hang on while I make the case that self-loathing is a good thing. I don’t mean only within the comedic-material sphere, within which self-loathing has been mined for years by Woody Allen, Howard Stern, Richard Lewis, and the godfather of them all, Philip Roth in Portnoy’s Complaint. What exactly is self-loathing? It appears almost always as that nasty, brutal voice in our heads. “You’re a loser, you’re a bum, a worthless waste of oxygen. Look at you. Do you imagine that someone like you could produce something original, something of quality, something that anyone else would care about? What ideas…

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Portrait of a Launch

By Callie Oettinger | 26 Comments

The launch of Steve’s new book, The Authentic Swing, was unlike those preceding it. Steve, Shawn, Jeff and I (a.k.a. The Black Irish team) charted a new course after benefiting from the advice of a launch pro. Just as his personal experiences proved valuable to us, our hope is that some of ours will be of value to you—whether you’re launching a new book or business. Two different goals existed for why Steve wrote The Authentic Swing and why it was launched. The Authentic Swing was written for readers who’ve continued to ask Steve about the “how and why” behind…

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