Month: December 2015

Make Your Hero Suffer

By Steven Pressfield | 16 Comments

[Down to the last two days of our Black Irish Christmas Special—the 7-Book Megabundle for Writers. Keep a couple for yourself and spread the rest around to “worthy recipients.”]   There’s a story about Elvis: He was about to make his first movie (“Love Me Tender”) and he was getting a little nervous. He phoned the director and asked to speak with him privately. “What is it, Elvis? You look upset. Is there anything you want to ask me?” “Yes,” said Elvis. “Am I gonna be asked to smile in this movie?” The director was taken aback. No actor, he said,…

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The Fat Guy in the Red Suit Knows the Deal

By Callie Oettinger | 11 Comments

Do you ever feel like a kid at times and wonder how you got here, to this adult place? Two weeks ago, a friend and I went down that rabbit hole. A young woman he manages at work is staring down a fork in her road. She doesn’t know what to do next. Wants more money, more responsibility, more of all the usual things… She looks at him and sees an old guy (anyone over 30 in her eyes). He looks inside and sees a kid. He’s still laughing at the same things he did when he was 12 and…

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“Think of This Movie as a Sausage”

By Steven Pressfield | 14 Comments

[Don’t forget the huge savings on our Black Irish Christmas Special—the 7-Book Megabundle for Writers. Keep a couple for yourself and spread the rest around to “worthy recipients.”] A few years ago I was working on a “B”-movie at Warner Bros. There was a car chase in the script, and the director, who was young and on fire to do something really special, came up with an idea that he thought would take that scene from good to great. He went to the office of the Warners’ exec who was in charge of the production (and thus controlled the budget) and…

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Cheat Sheet

By Shawn Coyne | 31 Comments

Not that long ago I asked an acquaintance to cut an hour out of his day so that I could “run something by him.” It’s important to point out that this acquaintance had a laundry list of accomplishments parallel to my own ambitions. He was a bestselling writer, a bestselling publisher, and a world-renowned speaker paid big bucks for the very hour I asked of him. He is someone any of us would put in our top five of inwardly powerful people who’d figured out the secrets of how to live an authentic, generous life while also having a nice…

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Hardest Stuff First

By Steven Pressfield | 17 Comments

[Don’t forget the huge savings on our Black Irish Christmas Special—the 7-Book Megabundle for Writers. Keep a couple for yourself and spread the rest around to “worthy recipients.”] When I was in my twenties one of the ways I kept body and soul together was moving furniture. The first thing that experienced movers will tell a rookie is Take the Heaviest Stuff First. Why? Because if you wait till mid-afternoon before tackling that grand piano, you’ll be so tired you won’t be able to handle the weight and the cumbersomeness. I have the same rule for writing. Attack the hardest parts…

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When Do You Walk Away?

By Callie Oettinger | 15 Comments

Don’t forget the huge savings on Black Irish Books’ Christmas Special—the 7-Book Megabundle for Writers. Keep a couple for yourself and spread the rest around to “worthy recipients.” * * * * * Kate’s manuscript has been sitting with her editor for over a year. Between submitting it then and waiting for its acceptance now, she’s worked odd jobs to bring in money, writing in between gigs. As she waits, so does the book her gut thinks will allow her to quit the odd jobs and move toward writing full time. She wants to pull the book, to stop the…

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Russell Wilson’s Bird

By Steven Pressfield | 20 Comments

  [Don’t forget the huge savings on our Black Irish Christmas Special—the 7-Book Megabundle for Writers. Keep a couple for yourself and spread the rest around to “worthy recipients.”]   This is gonna be a different kind of post today. I want to talk about a TV commercial. Why? First, because this 30-second spot is in my opinion a legitimate work of art. I’ll go so far as to say it’s outstanding art. Second, because this commercial (it’s really a mini-movie) is a brilliant depiction of the Artist’s Inner World. It doesn’t intend to be, but it is. It’s your…

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An American Jew for Christmas

By Shawn Coyne | 21 Comments

How do you sell your soul? Isn’t this a strange question? I mean we’ve been taught that Artists don’t sell their souls. They keep their inner self-actualization struggles to themselves and let their work speak for them. Faust sold his soul and that didn’t turn out so well (at least until Goethe made that evergreen Story/Myth his own). So an artist should avoid putting his/her innermost thoughts up for sale at all cost.  Or their blasphemous opening of their internal kimono will lead as Joe Strummer of The Clash so succinctly sang, “straight to Hell.” Instead, it’s best to write…

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