Month: May 2014

En Brera, Part Two

By Steven Pressfield | 4 Comments

[“The Book I’ve Been Avoiding Writing” (a.k.a. “Three Years of Writing and 40+ Years of Thinking About The Lion’s Gate“) is a mini-series about the writing of my new book, The Lion’s Gate. Thanks for tuning in as it runs Mondays and Fridays over the next few weeks.] I’m in Paris now. I have flown here to interview Yosi Ben-Hanan. On the right is a photo of Yosi from the last day of the Six Day War. Six years after that moment, the armies of Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in what would become known as the Yom Kippur War.…

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Inner Wars and Outer Wars

By Steven Pressfield | 23 Comments

One of the questions I get asked all the time is “Why do you write about war?” It’s a good question, and for years I didn’t have an answer. I didn’t start out writing about war. For almost thirty years I wrote screenplays and novels and none of them were war-themed. In 1996, Gates of Fire (about the battle of Thermopylae) came out of me for some reason I could not (and still cannot) fathom. Six more novels about war followed. A non-fiction book about the Six Day War of 1967, The Lion’s Gate, just came out two weeks ago.…

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“Remember Who You Are. Remember Why You Are Here”

By Steven Pressfield | 19 Comments

[“The Book I’ve Been Avoiding Writing” (a.k.a. “Three Years of Writing and 40+ Years of Thinking About The Lion’s Gate“) is a mini-series about the writing of my new book, The Lion’s Gate. Thanks for tuning in as it runs Mondays and Fridays over the next few weeks.] I am visiting the 101 Squadron at Hatzor Air Base in the Negev desert. We’re talking about the concept of En Brera, “no alternative.”

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The Western Wall, Part Two

By Steven Pressfield | 13 Comments

[“The Book I’ve Been Avoiding Writing” (a.k.a. “Three Years of Writing and 40+ Years of Thinking About The Lion’s Gate“) is a mini-series about the writing of my new book, The Lion’s Gate. Thanks for tuning in as it runs Mondays and Fridays over the next few weeks.] How does the Western Wall fit into my life? Why should I care about it? Do I care? I don’t know. I’m wondering, now, as Danny and I approach the great plaza. Above the Dung Gate, you pass through a checkpoint. Ultra-Orthodox men and women stand with their palms outstretched as you…

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The Universe is Self-Ordering

By Steven Pressfield | 24 Comments

[Today’s post is an updated version of one of the first to run on this blog. It’s one I’ve always wanted to bring back.] Chaos. The Big Bang. Crap flying everywhere. Imagine yourself back at the beginning of time. The universe is raw energy, blasting faster than light-speed in all directions. (Stay with me, this is going somewhere). What happens? As time passes—maybe only nanoseconds—electrons coalesce around nuclei. Molten matter cools; stars and planets form themselves into spheres; celestial objects find paths and settle into orbits. Order emerges. Gravity exerts its pull. Rivers form and run downhill. Seas arise. Atmospheres…

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Pages from a Book Proposal

By Steven Pressfield | 5 Comments

[“The Book I’ve Been Avoiding Writing” (a.k.a. “Three Years of Writing and 40+ Years of Thinking About The Lion’s Gate“) is a mini-series about the writing of my new book, The Lion’s Gate. Thanks for tuning in as it runs Mondays and Fridays over the next few weeks.] Steve, there are three questions you have to answer in this Book Proposal [Shawn was instructing me as we were beginning the process of trying to secure a publishing deal for The Lion’s Gate]. They’re the common-sense questions that you and I would ask if we were the publisher and we were…

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The Western Wall, Part One

By Steven Pressfield | 12 Comments

[“The Book I’ve Been Avoiding Writing” (a.k.a. “Three Years of Writing and 40+ Years of Thinking About The Lion’s Gate“) is a mini-series about the writing of my new book, The Lion’s Gate. Thanks for tuning in as it runs Mondays and Fridays over the next few weeks.] Day Nine in Israel. Danny is taking me to the Kotel—the Western Wall. I had to write a Book Proposal for The Lion’s Gate. I had never done that before. Shawn Coyne was operating as my agent on this project. Shawn is my partner in our little publishing venture, Black Irish Books.…

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When You Publish a Book

By Steven Pressfield | 35 Comments

The Lion’s Gate has been out for about a week now. The book represents, for me, three years of 24/7 work and an untold tonnage of emotion. Now it’s out there in the real world, on its own. Nothing I think or say or do will have more than the most negligible influence on the way the book is received. The question for me now becomes, “How do I manage my own expectations?” For what it’s worth, here is how I think about it: First, I have been trained in the Tinseltown School of Having Your Heart Broken. It’s a…

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I Can’t Interview Moshe Dayan

By Steven Pressfield | 16 Comments

[“The Book I’ve Been Avoiding Writing” (a.k.a. “Three Years of Writing and 40+ Years of Thinking About The Lion’s Gate“) is a mini-series about the writing of my new book, The Lion’s Gate. Thanks for tuning in as it runs Mondays and Fridays over the next few weeks.] I was saying in the last post that a writer needs help. I don’t care who you are; you can’t do it alone. You need smart friends. One of mine is Randall Wallace, who wrote Braveheart. Here’s how he saved The Lion’s Gate, long before I left for Israel, long before I…

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Foolscapping “The Lion’s Gate”

By Steven Pressfield | 15 Comments

[“The Book I’ve Been Avoiding Writing” (a.k.a. “Three Years of Writing and 40+ Years of Thinking About The Lion’s Gate“) is a mini-series about the writing of my new book, The Lion’s Gate. Thanks for tuning in as it runs Mondays and Fridays over the next few weeks.] Why am I here in Israel, interviewing veterans of the Six Day War in-person? Why not write the book based entirely on research? That’s how I wrote Gates of Fire and six other novels. It worked then. Why won’t it work now? That is a great question and the answer is absolutely…

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