Month: March 2014


By Shawn Coyne | 24 Comments

I face this conundrum a lot and I’ve had the good fortune to work with the expert on Resistance to ask for help. Here it is: “How do you know when the voice in your head has been hijacked by Resistance? That you’re essentially acting on advice from a force out to distract and keep you from the important work you were put on earth to do?” Steve’s response to this question is “the very act of questioning the motives of your internal chatterbox tells you that it’s Resistance.” And he’s absolutely right. But what if the voice tells you…

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Keep Gnawing

By Steven Pressfield | 44 Comments

People sometimes ask me, “Don’t you feel guilty encouraging individuals to pursue their artistic dreams when the odds against success are so overwhelming?”

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Our Morning Routines

By Steven Pressfield | 15 Comments

This Mondays’s Ask Me Anything concludes our “How to Organize a Day, How to Organize a Year” podcast. Thanks to our First Look Access friends for the questions. Cate Emond asks … I recently quit my boring office job in order to pursue my writing and other creative projects full-time. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and articles in preparation and one piece of advice that seems pretty universal to all people who work from home is the importance of having a morning routine. I would love to know what your morning routine consists of (if you have one).

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Focus on the Experience

By Callie Oettinger | 7 Comments

Films aren’t created to keep theaters in business any more than books are written to keep brick-and-mortar stores operating. However . . . Past practices of some theaters and stores run in the opposite direction. A recent example comes via the release of the film Veronica Mars, which was released in theaters and via video on demand (for sale and for renting) the same day last week. “Theater chains are dead set on screening with exclusive window,” said director Rob Thomas in a Variety interview. “It’s why Warner’s is renting out AMC theaters.” Afraid that their ticket sales will be “cannibalized”…

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Resistance is Not Us

By Steven Pressfield | 45 Comments

There are concepts that are so obvious that it’s almost impossible for us to grasp them. This is one of them. What I mean by “so obvious” is, someone says something to us and we think, “Of course. Sure. I know that.” Then the concept blows right past us. It’s out the window and gone, and we’re no better off than we were before we heard it. Here’s the concept (focus hard): Resistance is not us. That voice we hear in our head? That’s not us. Those thoughts we think are our own? They’re not our thoughts. They’re Resistance. “You…

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It’s Not Always Fun

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

This week on Ask Me Anything we take a question from Scott Culley. Not related to this week’s question, but this is on my mind a lot lately. What do you do when you’re not “having fun” anymore? What do you do when a project has just become so overwhelmingly frustrating that showing up everyday becomes more of an exercise in frustration where the work isn’t moving forward? What then? Listen to the podcast, and then read this.

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The Uses of Anger

By Shawn Coyne | 13 Comments

Anger is not a sustainable business plan. If you want to start something…sure…use anger about the powers that be to get you off your ass and figure out a better way. But don’t count on that furious passion to drive you to the unattainable 21st Century Promised Land—mass wealth matched with inner peace. What usually happens is you’ll have plenty of fire to “show them” at the outset. But whatever you wish to prove—be it a better, more human and focused publishing company or a more customer friendly plumbing supply business—isn’t going to end well. And yes, even if you…

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Write Your White Whale

By Steven Pressfield | 27 Comments

The #1 question that writers ask: “I’ve got a million ideas. How do I know which one to write?” Answer: Write your White Whale. Which idea, of all those swimming inside your brain, are you compelled to pursue the way Ahab was driven to hunt Moby Dick? Here’s how you know: you’re scared to death of it. That’s good. You should be scared. Mediocre ideas never elevate your heart rate. The great ones make you break out in a sweat. The final image of Moby Dick is one of the greatest ever, not just as the climax to a saga,…

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For Love or For Money?

By Steven Pressfield | 11 Comments

Elizabeth Lada, like many of us, struggles to decide which job to take. She asks … What to do when you have a number of medium-sized talents, and the ones that make you money aren’t quite as fun to do (that would be painting/illustrating) and the ones that are more fun to do are not (yet? ever?) remunerative (that would be screenwriting and playing music). How to focus? Reward so many hours of doing the money-maker with a half-hour of the fun stuff? Focus exclusively on the money-maker until some (arbitrary?) goal is met? Do the fun stuff first and…

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Going Long-View, Angel’s Share Bourbon Instead of Magic-Bullet Plastic

By Callie Oettinger | 7 Comments

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Benjamin: Yes, sir. Mr. McGuire: Are you listening? Benjamin: Yes, I am. Mr. McGuire: Plastics. —The Graduate Magic-Bullet Plastic For The Graduate’s Mr. McGuire, “plastics” was it—that sure-fire, magic-bullet road to riches. A couple of decades later, he might have said “home health care”—and today’s young Benjamin Braddock would perhaps have given him the same confused look, and the same follow-up Q&A would have ensued: Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean? Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in [home health care]. Think about it. Will you think…

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