I believe that Bruce Springsteen’s musical creations existed before he ever picked up a guitar or sat down at a piano.

As did Bob Dylan’s and Joni Mitchell’s and George Gershwin’s.

George Gershwin in the year of “Rhapsody in Blue”

They existed, I believe, on another plane of reality. Maybe not note for note, maybe not line for line. But in some form that was recognizably Dylanesque or Mitchell-like or Gershwin-close.

The individual artist, opening him- or herself to the dimension of potentiality, called these works down.                       

Bruce and Joni and George tuned themselves to the Cosmic Radio Station and heard (as no one but each of them could hear) the music that was for them alone to bring forth.

Do you believe me? Then believe this:

            You too have a body of work.

It exists inside you … and has existed from the moment you were born, and possibly even before that.

Your body of work, like Springsteen’s or Joni Mitchell’s or George Gershwin’s, is unique to you. No other indiviudal, living or dead, can produce or could have produced it.

 It is yours alone, and it is real.

DO THE WORK

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

THE AUTHENTIC SWING

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.

The-Authentic-Swing

NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR SH*T

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.

noboybookcover

TURNING PRO

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?"

Turning-Pro

The
Warrior
Archetype

A New Video Series from Steven Pressfield

Subscribe here for the full series.

46 Comments

  1. Peter Brockwell on June 17, 2020 at 2:35 am

    Impactful. Thank you Steve. Just the reminder I needed. If we can’t believe in ourselves, we should know that our creative work exists ‘in potentia’ out there right now, if we can just do the work to instantiate it. 🙂
    Peter

  2. Mary Doyle on June 17, 2020 at 5:12 am

    An important reminder – we are the instruments of the muse. Thanks for keeping us pointed north.

  3. Brian Nelson on June 17, 2020 at 6:23 am

    I’m not sure I do believe that. I want to believe. I think whether I believe it or not, it puts me in the right frame of mind. It makes the act of creation much more utilitarian, useful, and pragmatic. There is truly no pretension when I picture my efforts as me with a pick axe uncovering gold in a stone garden. There are other times when I WAY over identify with my ideas/creations. Slippery slope for my ego. This is a much better way for me to consider the creation, and work towards believing it fully. Thanks again Steven.
    bsn

  4. MAKOWSKI on June 17, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Thanks for the post Steve!

    Did you see the Epix documentary about Laurel Canyon in the 60’s?

    It’s great…but sad that it’s not there any more. A lot of Joni Mitchell in it.
    She could not get signed in NYC because they had Joan Baez and Judy Collins.
    Too many folk singers in one place! So she went to California.

    It was like the Garden of Eden for musicians. Worth a watch.

    • Margret Dugan on June 17, 2020 at 9:52 am

      Yes, it’s in me, Steven. I can feel it because there is World War III going on between it and resistance right now. Worst part is that I can’t tell who’s winning. But I bet if I get off this phone, it will overcome.

      Every good wish, ~m

    • Steven Pressfield on June 17, 2020 at 11:07 am

      I did see it and it was great. Like Paris in the Hemingway/Gertrude Stein years, or so it seems in the docu.

      • MAKOWSKI on June 18, 2020 at 6:04 am

        Yes Steve…I love that moment where they talk about Joni buying a vase and bringing it home.
        She puts flowers in it and Graham Nash is inspired to write “Our House.” A song that
        encapsulates a time, a place, a sound, a people forever. Such is the power!

        But then she writes him a note saying, “When you squeeze the sand too hard it runs through your fingers.” I guess Eden gets boring?

        Also, been having fever dreams, I guess because of the Covid, riots, etc. They say our amygdala is jacked up because of all this. So my dream is about the ascending guitar riff in “Man Who Sold the World” by David Bowie. Strange thing to dream about. But anyway…here is what I noticed….that
        everything that was in David Bowie’s last album “Dark Star”…the seeds were all there in
        “Man Who Sold the World.” As if nothing was ever added and nothing was taken away. It’s
        all there right from the beginning.

        If you ever read this…have a great day!

  5. James McCabe on June 17, 2020 at 8:11 am

    Exactly, Steven. Single leaves on the Golden Story Tree.

  6. Stewart Lee Beck on June 17, 2020 at 8:12 am

    I’m with you on this one, Steven. Thanks for the share.

  7. Kenneth N Proudfoot on June 17, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Yes. True. Thanks.

  8. Marvin on June 17, 2020 at 8:16 am

    I have a body of work. I’ve written it down.
    Now to get it out.
    That is the challenge.

  9. K on June 17, 2020 at 8:20 am

    Wednesday’s are my favorite day because of posts like this one. ???? Thank you

  10. Ms. Moretti on June 17, 2020 at 8:28 am

    I was just asking mySelf this – it was a question running in the back of my mind as I was writing my Morning Pages this morning. I was thinking along the lines of a specific genre, like, “Do I at least have a trilogy with these people?” Sure, why not. A life is an epic saga, anyways. Might as well plug in/plug on.
    Thank you for your posts – timely, as usual!

  11. Joe Jansen on June 17, 2020 at 8:28 am

    I’m thinking about something Stephen King said in his book, “On Writing”:

    “Stories are found things, like fossils in the ground…. [They] are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”

    Feels like the same vibe.

  12. Gigi Blackshear on June 17, 2020 at 8:30 am

    I am jumping up and down screaming Yes! Yes! Yes!!!! I do believe this. Not only do I believe it, I know it to be true. At my best, the words flow like honey from the hives of a million bees. At my worst, I am the Hoover Dam, holding back the flood gates of a million words.

  13. Ursula on June 17, 2020 at 8:33 am

    I do believe there is a dimension where ideas exist. Creators access this realm from time to time.

  14. Frank Freeman on June 17, 2020 at 8:38 am

    Thanks, Steve, needed that. Fighting the Black Dog today.

    • Linda Sheehan on June 17, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      I was fighting him yesterday. hmmmm. Today is vastly better cas turns out he is strengthed by a good fight. Today I am making room for him and he is making room for me.

  15. Doug LI on June 17, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Thank Steve for reminding me again.

    Forgetting we have a unique body of work is the greatest foe.

    Disciplined life.

    • David on June 17, 2020 at 9:32 am

      This quote speaks precisely to this:

      “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
      – Martha Graham

  16. Ingmar+Albizu on June 17, 2020 at 8:46 am

    I have a body of work waiting to get out.

  17. Linda L Moore on June 17, 2020 at 8:58 am

    I’ve published three books with totally similar psychology themes and still trying to “define body”. But perhaps getting closer …having read your book that speaks to this topic

    Dr Linda Moore

  18. Dave Dalton on June 17, 2020 at 9:03 am

    Spot on. This has been my experience in food technology.

  19. Fiorella on June 17, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Yes!!!! Totally agree, thanks for the beautiful reminder!!

  20. Maureen Anderson on June 17, 2020 at 9:24 am

    You know you’ve mastered a foreign language (from what I hear) when you think (and dream) in that language. I’ve apparently embraced the idea Steve presents here, because I’ve started to think in book titles!

    • Brian Nelson on June 17, 2020 at 10:21 am

      Maureen,
      I went to the Defense Language School in Monterey, CA back in 91-92. The DoD has a beautiful way of violently shoving an entire language down your throat in 9-18 months, depending upon the language.

      To confirm your language analogy–whenever anyone had a dream in Russian–it was a very big deal. It did not happen frequently, but I did have 2-3 dreams in which I was speaking/thinking in Russian.

      For years afterwards, I would also think some phrases in Russian. It is weird, sometimes the Russian phrase/word simply felt more accurate than the English equivalent. I imagine that is the case with all languages.
      bsn

      • Maureen Anderson on June 17, 2020 at 12:54 pm

        Interesting! It almost makes me want to learn another language. Almost. 🙂

        It also reminds me of being in a workshop, with people from all over the world, about the same time you were in Monterey. One participant was surprised there wasn’t a single word in English that means “flight of the butterfly.” The language she spoke, apparently, had several. It was the first time I realized just how much our language defines us.

        Thanks, Brian!

  21. Jane Appleby on June 17, 2020 at 9:49 am

    Thank you for encouraging the reality of our possibilities, reminding us that these are beyond ourselves and meant for some purpose that is unique to our daily work. Yes, show up and it will come, and sometimes when we least expect it. I try to cherish the surprises along the way and enjoy the ride. May you enjoy yours too.

  22. Jerry+Ellis on June 17, 2020 at 10:11 am

    The perfect post, Steve! Love it.

  23. Jule Kucera on June 17, 2020 at 10:20 am

    I like thinking about it this way, that there’s not something I have to create, just something I have to let out.

  24. Yvonne on June 17, 2020 at 11:02 am

    I loved this. Thank you.

  25. Lawrence Kojo Austin on June 17, 2020 at 11:06 am

    Thank you very much. Everything I need to succeed is trapped inside me.

  26. Apostolis+Alexopoulos on June 17, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Maybe these works of ours are trully out there in the field every moment of our lives. Time is just a creation of man that helps organize things, but in one way or another all things that are here were always here although they changed shapes or energy fields or whatever. Maybe these artworks that we manage to create are just interesting forms of what already is, and thus existed (and will exist) endlessly and in many forms. And our poems, our lives will may be always out there too. Talking about fame after death!

    Greetings from Greece dear Steven, thank you.

  27. Holly Packard on June 17, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Mary Baker Eddy who wrote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures wrote that she was “a scribe under orders” when she wrote her book. Truth!!!

    Thank you so much for your post! I sure needed that! I have an ancestor in Scotland that was such a strong and courageous women during the Middle Ages, she was even the Regent of Scotland for awhile and yet no book has ever been written about her. Is it because she was a woman or because I am suppose to write the book??? You have me thinking…………………….

  28. Bill on June 17, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Something I always thought was a true reality but tricky being able to squeeze it out.

  29. Melissa on June 17, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you.

  30. Candace Costis on June 17, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    This post somehow helped me overcome a terrible bit of resistance. I’ve been writing descriptions of astonishing (to me) and beautifully poetic scenes in my opening paragraphs. But then I could not bear to destroy the setting and feeling with the conflict or problem that I felt had to occur to make a story. This problem kept repeating itself and causing me to be paralyzed. It suddenly occurred to me, reading the comments here, that my written scenes should not be the beginning but at the end – the resolution or goal – Eden achieved and not destroyed. thanks!

  31. Marlene on June 17, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you for speaking the truth of what is held inside.

  32. Marina Goritskaia on June 17, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    There is either no evidence of it or this ‘body’ is without a soul. Or there is an important difference between ‘inside you’ and ‘inside the field of potentiality’. Frankly, I hate your metaphor of a pregnant woman. The cosmic radio station might somehow be closer to the truth.

  33. Fabiola Chiminazzo on June 18, 2020 at 3:21 am

    Totally true. Thanks for the wisdom. Your work has saved me from being a dilettante for the rest of my life. I have accomplished so many things after reading your books. Grateful forever.

  34. Melanie on June 18, 2020 at 10:55 am

    And so it is.

  35. Paul Melkonian on June 18, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Wow.

    I’ve really upped my meditation practice in the last few months. I’ve also been learning about many Buddhist concepts, and am currently reading Deepak Chopra’s “MetaHuman.”

    This post captures and ties together much of what I’ve been learning and what’s been revealed to me recently as it pertains to my writing. I am not one who believes “there are no coincidences,” but you posting this idea, at this time, can’t be one.

    I have also been producing more material recently.

    The realization that my body of work already exists…to paraphrase a Star Wars line, “I feel a weakening of my resistance.”

    I would really appreciate hearing some feedback on this.

  36. Aqeel Ali on June 21, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Ah, beyond the obvious message encaptured here, another worth focusing on is how these individuals could only hear the materialize and actualize their potentiality in their own unique way.

    You can tell a story or concept to any profession in that craft to serve as a medium to get it done. But only you can write that book in the way you want it to be told.

  37. Elise Allan on June 23, 2020 at 3:56 am

    Lovely inspiring post – thank you!

  38. NancyBaldwin on August 22, 2020 at 10:44 am

    So guys, I will recommend you just a great service to you in order to be able to place bets on cyber sports. I am sure you will enjoy this coolest experience for you to make money. The very tough guys have esports betting top/ just great bets on CS: GO that will make you enjoy watching the game

  39. Ellie Horrell on August 30, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    This is a genius of his era. It’s a shame that I didn’t know about him earlier and discovered his work for myself when I just ordered an essay …

Leave a Comment