Month: August 2014

Learning from the Airline Industry

By Callie Oettinger | 10 Comments

Before computers stepped in, if you wanted to find a book in your library, you walked over to a shelf of drawers (or a few walls of drawers depending on the size of your library), scanned the labels on the outside of each drawer, opened the drawer that corresponded with the author or title for which you were searching, and then flipped through the cards until you found the title. It took going through this process to find out if a specific book was available in your library. If the card wasn’t there, either the book wasn’t available, or (as…

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“The Office is Closed”

By Steven Pressfield | 22 Comments

This blog can get kinda hardcore at times, I know. The posts can seem relentlessly insistent on hard work, self-discipline, and so forth. Today let’s talk about the other side. Let’s talk about when the writing day is over. I’m a big believer in “the office is closed.” What I mean is that, when the day’s work is done, I turn the switch off completely. I close the factory door and get the hell out of Dodge. This is not laziness or exasperation or fatigue. It’s a conscious, goal-oriented decision based upon a very specific conception of reality. In this…

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The Things You Complain About are the Things You Could Be Changing

By Shawn Coyne | 17 Comments

In the dream, the writer and reader need no publisher or retailer. There’s no pooh-poohing gatekeeper or everything store keeping a writer in the wilderness or hiding his gems in the stockroom. There is no front table. No cooperative advertising. It’s simple. In the dream, the writer and reader are connected. One creates. The other supports the creation. The writer writes something. He publishes it by working with other artists (editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, cover artists, book designers)…not as an employer demanding 40 hours a week of obedience and having to offer a salary, health benefits, and possibly a 401K for…

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The Sphere of Self-Reinforcement

By Steven Pressfield | 38 Comments

The last two Wednesday posts, Process and Spot and The Game of Numbers, have been about the mental game of writing. Specifically, they’ve been about self-reinforcement. This is a subject they don’t teach at Harvard. What exactly is self-reinforcement? It’s not just patting yourself on the back or telling yourself, “Good work, kemo sabe” (one of my own favorite me-to-me phrases). In the two examples above, we’re talking about self-reinforcement for actions we’ve taken that have not produced results and that may not for a long time to come. This, of course, is the most important kind of self-reinforcement. It’s self-reinforcement…

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Crowdfunding, Part Deux

By Callie Oettinger | 3 Comments

For the past few weeks, Steve’s interviews with Jeff Simon have been appearing on this site. The last one ran just before Jeff’s Indiegogo campaign ended — fully funded I’d like to add (with a congrats to Jeff and Team Abercorn). I shared a bit about his campaign via the post “Why You Need to Know About Crowdfunding,” with lessons from crowdfunding that crossover into outreach, for sharing our work. A few additions to that piece: If Mozart Could Do It . . . Alexander Pope did it. Mozart did it. And . . . The “American Committee” (thank them…

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“The Game of Numbers”

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

Last week we were talking about Rory McIlroy’s “trigger words” from his victory in the British Open a few weeks ago—“process” and “spot.” We were saying that the principle behind these concepts was equally applicable to writing and to entrepreneurship. What is that principle? It’s the idea of detaching yourself emotionally from the ultimate outcome of any enterprise (“I gonna win the Nobel Prize!” “I’m going to humiliate myself in the eyes of everyone I love!”) and focusing instead upon one simple, controllable object (“I’m going to sit down this day and work for three hours.”) I want to introduce…

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Process and Spot

By Steven Pressfield | 21 Comments

Boredom alert: this post is about golf. If your reaction is “Arrggh!”, now is your chance to bolt. I promise, however, that what follows will be extremely relevant to you and me and to our endeavors as artists and entrepreneurs. Here goes: Rory McIlroy won the British Open a couple of weeks ago. He was out front the whole way, dominating the field. Rory was kicking butt so totally that reporters began asking him, “What are you thinking about out there? Do you have ‘key thoughts’ that are helping you play so well?” Rory confessed that indeed he had two…

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Getting on Base and the Long Game

By Callie Oettinger | 15 Comments

In his “Acting ‘As If’” post last week, Shawn wrote: “Our books are not Frontlist. They are backlist, evergreen, long-term commitments. So we spend weeks, months, years on every single one we put out there in an effort to reach what we think is the publisher’s job . . . getting the book into the hands of 10,000 readers. We have plans to promote all of our titles every chance we get, in any way we can do it, for as long as we’re around.” How is this accomplished? By getting on base and playing the long game. Getting On…

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