Month: August 2015

Captain Crunch for President

By Callie Oettinger | 8 Comments

“Deez Nuts” was the first to arrive — and then over 200 copycats followed, upping the count on the Federal Election Commission’s “2016 Presidential Form 2 Filers” list to 891 (as of the time of this posting). Recent additions include: Zibble the Puppet Sir Cookie Zealot Bippy the Clown Rocky Balboa Ronald Reagan’s Ghost Tyrion Lannister Porcupines R. Spikey, Jr. brought a laughter tear to my eye — as did the name of Forrest Gump’s campaign committee — as I scanned the SEC’s list and clicked on the paperwork links for a few of the candidates. I love a good joke —…

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“Find What You Love and Let It Kill You”

By Steven Pressfield | 26 Comments

This is my favorite of all the posts we’ve ever run on this site. (Mainly because it’s not written by me.) I read it every few months just to psych myself up. It’s an article written by English concert pianist James Rhodes that appeared originally in the Guardian (UK). Why do I love Mr. Rhodes’ story of his bold move to change his life and become an artist? 1) Because James is a late bloomer. Much as I admire child prodigies, I hate them too because they found their calling so young and with so little agony. I like to see…

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The Third Man

By Shawn Coyne | 20 Comments

After each three minute round, the boxer gets a one-minute break. He collapses onto a stool. His cornerman squeezes water into his mouth and places a bucket beneath his jaw to catch the run-off.  He then towels him off with an aggressive rub down to keep the muscles elastic. All the while a second man, the fighter’s trainer peppers him with advice. Stay out of the corners! Body blow, body blow, uppercut! For the fighter, these two support systems are critical. But they are not indispensable. The third man in the corner is.

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Shawn’s Free Video Mini-Course

By Steven Pressfield | 9 Comments

Shawn Coyne and I have been really dumb in the way we operate this blog and Shawn’s www.storygrid.com. We keep giving stuff away that we should be “monetizing.” Here we go again (actually Shawn is the main Dumb Guy behind this) with a five-part free mini-course based on Shawn’s wonderful book The Story Grid, about the craft of story editing. Click here to stream all five parts. Each video is about ten-twelve minutes long. Trust me, they are definitely binge-worthy. Okay. What is this mini-course exactly? Well, when Shawn brought out The Story Grid a few months ago, he was…

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To Review or Not to Review: Externalities in the Making

By Callie Oettinger | 13 Comments

If you find yourself visiting San Antonio with a child in need of an emergency room, you’ll also find yourself in need of advice on which hospital to choose. If you read FiveThirtyEight, once you’re on the other side of the emergency room visit and on your way home, you might start thinking about Mona Chalabi’s article “Does It Make Sense To Split The Check At A Restaurant?” Within the article, Chalabi addresses the economist-coined concept externalities: Any time you make a decision that affects someone else without considering how it might affect that person, whether positively or negatively, you…

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“I’m On A Mission”

By Steven Pressfield | 34 Comments

For years I lived “the way the day took me.” I’m not knocking that, either as a temporary default mode or as a way of life. It can be fun. You can find yourself, in a good way, in places you never imagined you’d be. You can meet great people. You can learn a lot. But at some point, that kind of life ended for me. I ended it. Since then I’ve been on a mission. I’m like the Blues Brothers. The day doesn’t sweep me away any more. My inner world, my universe of intention, is completely different from…

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First Reads

By Shawn Coyne | 6 Comments

[Join www.storygrid.com to read more of Shawn’s Stuff] A friend of mine wrote a wonderful novel.  It combined what I think is the best of the old-school thriller narrative stylists (big canvass) with a haunting contemporary “What if?” My acquiring editor head (the one I used when I worked at the Big Five houses and still can’t turn off) thinks it could easily be positioned as Ken Follett meets Michael Crichton.  My neurons have cooked up the cover treatment and a list of bestselling writers to hit up for blurbs ready to go. Can’t help it.  It’s a Pavlovian response…

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The Artist’s Most Important Skill

By Steven Pressfield | 40 Comments

What single skill is most critical to the artist? Is it talent? Imagination? Mastery of her craft? Is it profundity of insight, depth of compassion, understanding of human nature? A passion for truth? Capacity for hard work? The ability to overcome criticism and negativity? Or is it something more crass, more commercial? The ability to brand herself? To network, to pitch, to create buzz? In my opinion it’s none of these. The single most critical skill for the artist is this: The ability to sit down and do her work. It sounds so simple. So obvious. It’s almost embarrassing to…

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FREE MINI COURSE

Start with this War of Art [27-minute] mini-course. It's free. The course's five audio lessons will ground you in the principles and characteristics of the artist's inner battle.

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