Month: October 2016

What I Mean by Love Story

By Shawn Coyne | 8 Comments

The first thing we need to define before we get too deep into the mechanics of the conventions and obligatory scenes of the Love Story is to clearly understand what kind of love we’re talking about. There’s the love between mother and child. There’s the love between brother and brother. There’s the love between friends. There’s the love of country. There’s the love between business colleagues. There’s the love of Apple computer products. There’s the love of pizza. None of the above is our concern.

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The Muse and Me

By Steven Pressfield | 21 Comments

  We were talking last week about “what works and what doesn’t,” i.e. what activities produce (for me) peace of mind at the end of the day. I listed a number that didn’t work—money, attention, family life, etc. Let’s talk today about what does work. If you asked me at this time of my life to define my identity—after cycling through many, many over the years—I would say I am a servant of the Muse. That’s what I do. That’s how I live my life. [Remember, this post is Why I Write, Part 6.] Consider this (incomplete and possibly out-of-order)…

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Beyond the Words: Pitching Presentation and Sending

By Callie Oettinger | 6 Comments

We’ve discussed pitch content in previous articles. But what about presentation and sending? How should they look and how should they be sent? Presentation In his free Skillshare class, MailChimp’s Fabio Carneiro reminds viewers that research has shown “people delete ugly e-mails.” He makes a good point using design that speaks to specific types of customers, too. “If you know your audience is mostly developers, you could make your content more technical. You could generally make your design much simpler as well, so that it’s the textual information that stands out. For designers on the other hand, they might appreciate…

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What Works and What Doesn’t

By Steven Pressfield | 47 Comments

  I declared in the second Why I Write post that I would have to kill myself if I couldn’t write. That wasn’t hyperbole. Here in no particular order are the activities and aspirations that don’t work for me (and I’ve tried them all extensively, as I imagine you may have too if you’re reading this blog): Money doesn’t work. Success. Family life, domestic bliss, service to country, dedication to a cause however selfless or noble. None of these works for me. Identity-association of every kind (religious, political, cultural, national) is meaningless to me. Sex provides no lasting relief. Nor do…

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Why Love Rules

By Shawn Coyne | 11 Comments

What if tomorrow everything you’ve learned about storytelling disappeared? What would you do? Where would you begin to relearn your craft? For those of us who spend a considerable amount of our conscious hours inside our heads, the likelihood of this happening is pretty slim. Barring some highly unlikely blunt force trauma to our noggins, we’re not going to lose everything we know overnight. But is it not instructive to use our imaginations to consider what we would do if the worst catastrophic fantasy of a storyteller were to actually happen?

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Writing “As If”

By Steven Pressfield | 17 Comments

  The hippie version of behavioral therapy (I remember it well) was “acting as if.” Are you scared? Are you anxious? Act as if you’re not. Shawn has a principle for Black Irish Books: publish as if. In other words, bring out a book/promote it etc. as if we were Knopf, as if we were Random House. What about writing as if? (Remember, the theme of this series is “Why I Write.” It’s my own admittedly personal, idiosyncratic, possibly demented view of why I do what I do.) I definitely write as if. I write as if I’m being published…

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You Need More Than A High IQ

By Callie Oettinger | 29 Comments

“Knowing how something originated often is the best clue to how it works.” — Terrence Deacon The good news: IQ levels are higher today than they were 100 years ago—and continue to increase. The bad news: Higher IQs aren’t making us smarter. In a recent interview with the BBC, James Flynn said, “the major intellectual thing that disturbs me is that young people . . . are reading less history and less serious novels than [they] used to.” From Flynn’s perspective, this lack of reading makes us ripe for an Orwellian dystopia. “All you need are ‘ahistorical’ people who then live…

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What Kind of Writer Are You?

By Steven Pressfield | 45 Comments

I had been working in Hollywood for five or six years and had a semi-respectable B-level screenwriting career going, when I got a new agent. My new agent was a go-getter. He decided to mount a campaign where he would “re-introduce me to the town.” That sounded good to me. I said, “Let’s do it.” My new agent started setting me up with meetings. The campaign would last six weeks, he said. He would send me out to two or three places a week—studios, production companies, the individual development entities of actors, directors, etc. The meetings would usually last between…

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