Introducing Black Irish JABs

For those who can’t wait, here’s the link to get the full story.

(Oh, and before I forget, there’s a great Black Irish baseball cap that comes along with the JABs.)

But let’s back up first to say what Black Irish JABs are, and how you can use them.

I’m trying to save you from eating too many of these

How do you learn to write?

I mean really.

How does an aspiring artist of any kind (or even an accomplished pro) get her ideas onto paper? How does she tell her stories? How does she make it all work?

The standard prescription is read read read and write write write. And that’s a good answer and true.

But you and I can immerse ourselves in Shakespeare and Tolstoy and Toni Morrison . . . we can bang out novel after novel and screenplay after screenplay (I know because I did) . . . and still not grasp the basics of storytelling or of artistic professionalism.

Someone has to teach us.

A mentor, a professor, a workshop leader. Our peers. Our bosses. Our brothers and sisters in the trenches.

We have to learn in the real world.

We have to read books on craft. We have to take courses. We have to apprentice ourselves to accomplished artists, even if only by watching them in documentaries or listening to them on podcasts.

What “craft” am I talking about that isn’t apparent in real life or in the experience of the creative endeavor itself?

I mean stuff like three act structure, like the difference between setup and inciting incident, like the characteristics of the midpoint of Act Two, the mechanics of the All Is Lost Moment, the difference between stakes and jeopardy.

I mean the qualities of a great villain (and the necessity of having one, even in nonfiction), the distinction between tragedy and comedy, the conventions of genres (Western, film-noir, thriller, love story, etc.) and how to use and apply them in our own work.

I mean artistic professionalism.

I mean learning how to manage our emotions, to take criticism, to withstand rejection.

I mean learning how to say no, how to overcome Resistance in all its manifold and diabolical forms. How to pick one project over another. How to dial back perfectionism. How to deal with self-sabotage and sabotage by others.

I mean how to handle success.

This stuff is not self-evident.

These answers don’t grow on trees.

Somebody has to show us.

Somebody had to show me.

Over the years, I’ve choked down a lot of bad cheeseburgers, worked for a lot of crazy bosses, woke up in bed with a lot of people I shouldn’t have—all in pursuit of these answers.

They come slowly and they come hard.

They come at a price.

That’s what Black Irish JABs are about.

Here’s the link again for the full story.

We’ve got twelve JABs ready right now and another arsenal in the works.

Each one is my version of the answers cited above.

The stuff that nobody teaches you.

The skills you can’t learn on your own.

The bottom line is Black Irish JABs are bullets. I hope they’re magic. But for sure they’re real.

Each JAB is a one-shot at the heart of a specific issue or dilemma that you and I as writers and artists and entrepreneurs struggle with every day.

I’m trying to save you from downing all those bad cheeseburgers.

I hope you’ll join us on this adventure, this artist’s journey.





Steve shows you the predictable Resistance points that every writer hits in a work-in-progress and then shows you how to deal with each one of these sticking points. This book shows you how to keep going with your work.

do the work book banner 1


A short book about the writing of a first novel: for Steve, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Having failed with three earlier attempts at novels, here's how Steve finally succeeded.



Steve shares his "lessons learned" from the trenches of the five different writing careers—advertising, screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, and self-help. This is tradecraft. An MFA in Writing in 197 pages.



Amateurs have amateur habits. Pros have pro habits. When we turn pro, we give up the comfortable life but we find our power. Steve answers the question, "How do we overcome Resistance?"



  1. Regina Holt on December 5, 2018 at 4:58 am

    After ALL the great bargains on content, it is but a pleasure to make this order!!

    Thank you for Everything!

  2. BarbaraNH on December 5, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Brilliant! I’m in and signed up!

  3. Brian S Nelson on December 5, 2018 at 7:32 am

    Dear Steve/Callie/Shawn,
    Thank you so much for my first Christmas present to myself.

  4. Cary Chu on December 5, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Mr. Pressfield, your writing has changed my life. Thank you.

    I would be PROUD to sport a Black Irish baseball cap!

    Cary Chu

  5. Andrew Keaveney on December 5, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Thank you so much! Looking forward to this immensely.


  6. Julia Murphy on December 5, 2018 at 9:03 am

    How did you know that’s what we always wanted for Christmas, Steve? I’m in! Thank you!!!

  7. Jule Kucera on December 5, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Love the offer, love the site redesign, love the revived logo and especially the message at the core—get in the ring.
    In total agreement with Regina, thank you.

  8. rob on December 5, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    … and how does one participate in JABS? You may have failed to make that clear.

    • Steven Pressfield on December 5, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      Rob, you become a subscriber and then you get every month a paperback JAB, the eBook version, the audiobook version, and a gift code so you can give the digital version of the same year’s worth of JABs to a friend. Twelve in all … and Season Two is in the works now. Happy Holidays!

  9. Brian S Nelson on December 6, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    …that hamburger looks mighty tasty though.

    • Beth on December 8, 2018 at 5:41 am

      All I can think is I would like to eat that cheeseburger every day. Wait … had to look at the cheeseburger picture again … and yes I DID see bacon and that brioche looks perfectly toasted, sauce and cheese melting down the side, and all that beef. Is this the resistance? If this writing thing does not work out, I can blame Black Horse for posting a picture of a cheeseburger that looks so delicious!

      • Beth on December 8, 2018 at 5:48 am

        * Black Irish, that is. Blame this error on cheeseburger as well. And, of course, excited bout JABs!

  10. Joe Jansen on December 7, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    This is good, because I have a cheeseburger-vibe going right now. With a side of falafel. And as the nearby photo may suggest, my head can tend to get cold… so a stylish flannel-ish hat will come in handy.

    And seriously, what a great package. As much as I’m looking forward to having the material for myself, I’m looking forward just as much being able to share with a friend. Well done, people.

  11. Graham Kosakoski on December 7, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    No shipping to your northern allies? We are all warriors, Steven. Make available your precious supplies!

    (This particular soldier would settle for paid shipping to Vancouver.)

  12. Rachelle Ramirez, Certified Story Grid Editor on April 27, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Steven, Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned with us. You’ve done the hard work to make our creative lives a little easier. I share your book with all my editing clients and writing friends. The Black Irish Books are the first on my shelves.

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