Month: February 2018

The Artist’s Journey, Cont’d

By Steven Pressfield | 16 Comments

Friends and members, welcome to our re-designed site! Explore a little and you’ll discover a free five-part War of Art mini-series. This is brand-new, read by me. Each section is about five minutes long. The audio is a sort of intro to the principles of Resistance and the idea of Turning Pro. Click here to sign up and we’ll shoot it straight to your Inbox. Don’t be scared of the new site. It’s made for ease of access to all the resources we’ve been putting in place over the past few years. And now … back to our ongoing serialization…

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Please Repeat Your Message

By Callie Oettinger | 13 Comments

My husband and I walked in on a wedding. We wanted a drink and some downtime, but instead we got flower girls, sequins, stares—and a polite request to leave. It was a reminder that the obvious place for important messaging isn’t always the best place—and a lesson on how easy it is to miss the signs. Here’s how it played out. We were in the mountains visiting family. We got caught outside in freezing rain. The kids wanted showers and pajamas. My husband and I wanted a drink and a firepit. The kids stayed with the family and my husband…

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Untitled Book, Installment #2

By Steven Pressfield | 33 Comments

THE HERO’S JOURNEY AND THE ARTIST’S JOURNEY {continuing from last week’s post}     I have a theory about the Hero’s Journey. We all have one. We have many, in fact. But our primary hero’s journey as artists is the passage we live out, in real life, before we find our calling. The hero’s journey is the search for that calling. It’s preparation. It’s initiation (or more precisely, self-initiation). On the hero’s journey, we see, we experience, we suffer. We learn. On our hero’s journey, we acquire a history that is ours alone. It’s a secret history, a private history,…

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Storygridding 4,000 words of Big Idea Nonfiction

By Shawn Coyne | 4 Comments

For fun, over at a while back, I storygridded Malcolm Gladwell’s seminal article from the June 3, 1996 edition of The New Yorker.  I tracked the narrative altitude in the work that I described in my post from February 2, 2018. The vertical axis moves from the “street” level perspective at the lowest elevation through the “city” vantage point up to the “national” level and then all the way to the highest “universal” level. Four specific lenses that he uses to progressively build dramatic tension.

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"This Might Not Work … "

By Steven Pressfield | 69 Comments

  Stealing a phrase (above) from Seth Godin, I’m going to try something a little different over the next few weeks and maybe more. I’m gonna serialize a book I’ve been working on. The book is about writing. I don’t have a title yet but the premise is that there’s such a thing as “the artist’s journey.” The artist’s journey is different from “the hero’s journey.” The artist’s journey is the process we embark upon once we’ve found our calling, once we know we’re writers but we don’t know yet exactly what we’ll write or how we’ll write it. These…

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Don't Major in the Minor

By Callie Oettinger | 56 Comments

(Past is present. With a December 6, 2013 date, this post is a little over four years old. The drones haven’t replaced humans yet, but Amazon is still pushing distribution, with its announcement that Amazon is going to enter UPS’ and FedEx’s space. O’Reilly has continued to change things up since this writing, but is still leading the way. More cultivated subscription models, too.) “Don’t major in the minor.” Mellody Hobson said it, but I’ve thought it these last few days, since watching Jeff Bezos on 60 Minutes this past Sunday. In case you haven’t heard, Bezos unveiled a prototype…

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How Steven Spielberg Handles his Villains

By Steven Pressfield | 8 Comments

  Steven Spielberg loves to tease us with his villains. He shows them only indirectly. In the audience we see the effects of the Bad Guys’ actions, but we rarely see the malefactors themselves. This is tremendously powerful because it makes us imagine what the forces of evil look like, and that’s always scarier than actually seeing them in blinding daylight. Remember the scene in Jaws with the three yellow barrels? Our heroes in their boat (Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, and Robert Shaw) harpoon the shark with cables linked to three huge yellow air-tank-like barrels. The barrels float on the…

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Narrative Altitude

By Shawn Coyne | 8 Comments

From, here is the next piece in my exploration of Malcolm Gladwell’s seminal work, The Tipping Point. For over a decade, Malcolm Gladwell understood the opportunity and potential of the tipping point idea. And by the time he arrived at The New Yorker in 1996, chances are he’d explored many of its intellectual trails—GRODZINS ’57; SCHELLING ’69, ’71, ’78; GRANOVETTER ’78, ’83; MORLEY ’84; CRANE ’89. If only in his own head, while waiting in line for take-out coffee at The Red Flame Diner on 44th Street, he’d cleared substantial tipping point terrain of his own. But his goal…

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