No Such Thing as Writer’s Block

Whatever talent I might possess as a writer can flee tomorrow. I don’t care.

            Nothing can stop me from working.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?"

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"PUT YOUR ASS WHERE YOUR HEART WANTS TO BE"

Available for pre-order in paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

43 Comments

  1. Joe on March 9, 2022 at 4:04 am

    Whatever talent
    I possess as a writer
    can flee tomorrow.

    It’s haiku.

    • Nick Murray on March 9, 2022 at 7:15 am

      Jesus, it IS haiku!

    • Nick Sherman on March 9, 2022 at 7:23 am

      Joe sweeping in with Haiku detector at 4:00a!
      Good for you Joe!

      • Joe on March 9, 2022 at 6:18 pm

        I’d like to claim to be sniffing out haiku at 0400, Nick… but I think Steve’s site tags posts with Pacific Time. Here in the Midwest, it was a decadent 0700.

        Makes me think of a story that Tom McGuane told: about a Montana rancher who’d get up at 0430 and turn on his kitchen lights so his neighbor would think he was up early and working. Turn on the kitchen lights and then go back to bed for a couple hours.

    • CC on March 9, 2022 at 11:50 am

      Love Haiku

  2. Jackie on March 9, 2022 at 4:39 am

    Memento mori, butt in a chair, write faster.

  3. Chuck DeBettignies on March 9, 2022 at 6:55 am

    “Nothing can stop me from working.”

    Maybe that’s the real talent . . .

    • Kate Stanton on March 9, 2022 at 8:51 am

      I’m beginning to believe that Chuck. Resilience and the ability to reinvent and keep working is a super talent. Having a dream isn’t for the faint of heart.

  4. Nick Sherman on March 9, 2022 at 7:21 am

    “I don’t know what everyone is all uncertain about.
    I know exactly what to do: get to work!”

    -Dad

  5. Nathanael on March 9, 2022 at 8:01 am

    I’ve always compared writer’s block to a blocked sink. It isn’t blocked because there’s nothing there, it’s blocked because there is too much. I guarantee you that anyone complaining about writer’s block has a creative drain clogged with countless half-finished ideas, and when Pressfield Plumbing shows up at your door I can also guarantee the only tool in his toolbox will be “work”. Clear the drain so the ideas can flow free! Get to work!

    • Chris Denham on March 9, 2022 at 9:26 am

      great comment! Thanks for that

    • Diane Dreher on March 9, 2022 at 9:36 am

      Great metaphor. Something is blocking the flow of our writing and we need to clear it out and get to work.

  6. Kate Stanton on March 9, 2022 at 8:49 am

    I’ve had this nasty ear infection issue that turned into pressure and hearing loss. Until I see the specialist, I’ve been whining inside–Resistance pushing me down–“you won’t sing again” or “take time off and find another hobby this is a sign”…what a disgusting beast it can be. That inner critic. As Joe says, this is a haiku. I can still get to work like a pro. I don’t need my ear to write lyrics! Music can come later…
    Get to work, Kate!

    • Sam Luna on March 9, 2022 at 9:38 am

      Kate on Steve’s recommendation via his Instagram I just finished reading “How To Be An Artist” by Jerry Saltz and your plight reminded me of a passage:

      “As you work, pay attention to everything you’re experiencing. Don’t think ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Think ‘useful’, ‘pleasurable’, ‘strange’, ‘lucky.’ Glenn Gould practiced with radios and a TV blasting so loud next to his piano that he was free not to listen to what he was playing, to better concentrate on feeling it.”

      Easier said than done. I hope you feel better soon.

      • Maureen Anderson on March 9, 2022 at 9:45 am

        So interesting, Sam. And great advice!

        Also, this…

        https://twitter.com/davidbauer/status/678229818408849409

        • Kate Stanton on March 9, 2022 at 10:43 am

          Dear Sam and Maureen,

          THANK YOU!!! You’ve both brightened my day. I will pay it forward…

      • Jurgen Strack on April 5, 2022 at 3:03 am

        Reminds me of a great scene in ‘The King’s Speech’, where Colin Firth (playing King) is encouraged to talk through classical music blasting out… when the recording is played back to him, he does so eloquently without any stutter.

    • Tolis Alexopoulos on March 9, 2022 at 12:33 pm

      I bet that even if you lost your hearing, your music would be more wondrous than ever. No obstacles, only your will.

      • Kate Stanton on March 10, 2022 at 8:29 am

        🙂 Thanks Tolis! Joe’s Haiku prompt has me writing more today. I also can “feel” bass more intensely right now, so I will use it to my advantage. Must be all the fluid in my ear LOL. No obstacles. Thank you fellow soldier/friend battling Resistance. We got this!!

    • Joe on March 9, 2022 at 4:12 pm

      Hope it clears up for you, Kate!

  7. Jessica on March 9, 2022 at 9:23 am

    The BIC principle: butt in chair in all its brevity, clarity, and poetic charm.

    Thank you!

  8. Jessica on March 9, 2022 at 9:33 am

    Butt in chair I wait
    Struggle in pain I press on
    Fingers on keyboard

  9. Don Bonin on March 9, 2022 at 10:33 am

    Do not ask me why,
    Why I try, day after day
    If not me, then who

    • Don Bonin on March 9, 2022 at 10:36 am

      If not me, then whom!

      Sorry, writers!

  10. Jackie on March 9, 2022 at 11:57 am

    Break over. Back to work.

  11. Tolis Alexopoulos on March 9, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    Exactly. Energy in the place of emotions.

    A beautiful, hard as rock couple of phrases it is.

  12. Brian Nelson on March 9, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    I don’t feel like it.
    Hey Nelson, shut up and run.
    Action begets mood.
    bsn

  13. Joe on March 9, 2022 at 4:14 pm

    Love all your haikus!

  14. Maureen Anderson on March 10, 2022 at 2:40 pm

    Okay. I’ve been debating whether to join in the haiku fun for two days, and it’s taking more energy to resist than give in.

    Here’s one from Jancee Dunn in her book, But Enough About Me, about a boyfriend fail…

    Sweater made of wool
    Does not go in laundry.
    Oh, well. Too late now.

    The other is mine, with apologies (for the purists) about the syllable count…

    I could’ve been voted
    Least likely to get a tattoo
    You see where this is going

    Forgiven? 🙂

    • Kate Stanton on March 11, 2022 at 8:07 am

      <3 I love these!!

      Like Van Gogh's right ear
      Wind, air, and pain whip through mine
      Shall I wait and see?

      A little dark humor to deal with my middle and outer ear issue. LOL
      Happy Friday, Maureen!

      • Maureen Anderson on March 11, 2022 at 9:15 am

        Same, Kate! I hope you’re better soon.

        P.S. I gave more thought to a tattoo than I did to either of my marriages!

        • Brian Nelson on March 11, 2022 at 7:36 pm

          Maureen,
          I once heard a comedian say, “I can totally see getting married, having kids, getting a job…but a tattoo?!?! Those are permanent!”

          I still chuckle when I think of that.
          bsn

  15. Nom de Plume on March 11, 2022 at 8:28 am

    Another fan of the simplicity and conciseness (concision?) of haiku:

    Mind over matter
    Emotion follows motion
    This moment is all.

  16. Maureen Anderson on March 11, 2022 at 2:40 pm

    It sounds as if this writer would disagree with “no such thing as writer’s block” — but I found it charming, regardless…

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Ca-EVcdrmEC/

  17. Wordle on March 15, 2022 at 1:53 am

    Another fantastic post. Thank you, Steve!

  18. Ricky on March 29, 2022 at 11:03 pm

    I like this blogspot and i hope u always make good article from : Ricky

  19. Ricky on March 29, 2022 at 11:04 pm

    Okay. I’ve been debating whether to join in the haiku fun for two days, and it’s taking more energy to resist than give in.

  20. Jurgen Strack on April 5, 2022 at 3:13 am

    So, alongside writing I’m working on becoming a stand-up comedian. Double or even triple resistance maybe?

    I’m reading a book on joke wriitng, which offers some good advice… A contributor wrote, ‘But when I sit down to write nothing comes and I get frustrated,’ she said. The author says, ‘that in a nutshell is the biggest problem all joke writers face. The first time you sit down to do anything is hard. The ability to accept that and just get on with it is PROBABLY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING SUCCESSFUL OR NOT.’

    Action may not always bring happiness but there is no happiness without action
    Benjamin Disraeli

  21. Ricky on April 27, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing this amazing article.
    RTP SLOT GACOR.

  22. Nom de Plume on May 6, 2022 at 9:41 am

    I am thinking about this (a month later) and have to add another contribution to this mix, haiku fun aligning with Sensei’s wisdom:

    Rule number one: start.
    Ninety percent of dreamers
    Never start at all.

    Rule two: continue.
    Most of those who start give up
    At first obstacle.

    Rule three is: finish.
    Do not revise endlessly.
    It is done. Ship it!

    Now: will anyone else check this old post to see this? That is the question!

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