We’ve been talking for the past two posts about starting a New Project before we’ve finished the Project We’re Working On Now.

Why do we do this? What’s the principle behind it?

We do it because to stop (or pause) after Project #1 means we are one-hit wonders. We are dabbling. We are amateurs.

To continue, on the other hand, means we are pursuing our calling as a practice.

It means we are pros. It means we are on the right side of the Muse’s ledger. It means we are aligned with the Cosmic Juju.

We can have a meditation practice

What is a practice?

You and I can have a yoga practice. We can have a meditation practice. We can have a martial arts practice.

We can also have a writing practice … or a painting practice, or a musical composition practice.

Here are just a few of the characteristics of a practice.

  1. A practice is enacted as a ritual.
  2. A practice is engaged in every day.
  3. A practice is lifelong.
  4. A practice is pursued for its own sake, not for any societal or financial gain.
  5. A practice is a spiritual pursuit embodied in a physical or psychic endeavor.
  6. A practice often involves a teacher or mentor.

Do we—you and I—call ourselves artists? Then we are in this for life. Book #1 (or Album #1 or Podcast #1) is only one link in a chain we will build from now until they take us out feet-first. There will be a Book #9 and a Book #99. 

We will not stop after Album #11 or Podcast #798. 

This is what we do.

This is our practice.

P.S. The final (bonus) week of The Daily Pressfield—after the first 365 days—is about having a practice. It comes last because it’s the deepest, bottom-line truth of the artist’s life. Signed copies are still available.

P.P.S. More to come on “having a practice” in the following weeks.


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. Pete Miller on December 13, 2023 at 1:46 am

    my words cannot really describe the effect (or affect?) your words have had on me.

    they are the most powerful words I have (needed to) read

    thanks you Steven

  2. sarahjohn on December 13, 2023 at 1:47 am

    Establishing a regular exercise routine is crucial for economic growth and success in a business management dissertation topics. Whether it’s a skill or a profession, consistent practice fosters improvement and mastery. Keep practicing and success will follow.

  3. Sharon Fitzpatrick on December 13, 2023 at 2:04 am

    Maybe a well lived life means a series of practices, a yoga practice, a gym workout practice, a swim practice, piano practice, guitar practice, a writing practice. At least then, one knows what is expected of ones self.

  4. Tolis on December 13, 2023 at 2:18 am

    Thank you very much dear Steve.

    You define practice not as something ordinary like the practice we do on the job every day, but as a more spiritual act that I am sure entails the Self, or better, the preservation of Self in every day, and thus (the law of accumulation) in Life.

    A thought that I have on this is that the practice may also be shapeshifting. It may always concern the fullfilment of the soul of the seeker, and it must be there every day, but I can’t tell if it needs be very particular or a changing theme. If so, then the work takes so much longer to be completed but on the other hand it may acquire wideness. So I can make the suggestion that practice has no specific form, only specific time (that is, every day) and reason (that is, to lead to that soul). Like everything else, one can use that to the work of art’s benefit, but it may also be used by Resistance. I wonder now, if all the tools of Assistance can be also used by Resistance.

    I send my best wishes to you and all people.

    • Lin Keeling on December 13, 2023 at 11:21 am

      I agree with you, Tolis. My studio practice has widened and evolved to include a writing practice. It does take longer–a lot longer!–to complete a given project, but I’ve found that each project I work on now is enriched and deepened by the others. They are evolving in concert and the whole will be greater than than the parts because of their interaction.

      • Maureen Anderson on December 13, 2023 at 2:03 pm

        It’s like what I once heard, that something only becomes an adventure once you start writing about it. I find that fascinating.

        How will my life have been different for the devotion to journaling (for example) as a practice?

      • Tolis on December 13, 2023 at 2:54 pm

        Thank you very much Lin, Maureen! Ah, Lin, that concert of the heart. I could never say it better than you.

  5. Kathy on December 13, 2023 at 2:23 am

    I received my Limited Edition Gift Box. “The Special Signed Gift Edition with a Companion Journal and other goodies”

    I love it so much.

    I love that it’s something to remind me of my own “daily practice”. I’ve read some and am moved to tenderness and drive, towards my efforts. Oh! The boost of it all. The illustrations are just so vital and fun, as each one is precisely how the words cause you lean towards. It’s a triumph that I am so happy to hold in my hands. The little envelope with cards and magnets! Awe! 💜 Such precious detail. Thank you, for being stead to your practice, Mr Pressfield. You delivered a friend to me.

    • Lucy on December 13, 2023 at 5:06 am

      I’m very envious. I have no special edition! I managed to get a Kindle copy of The War of Art which I read and cherished, and I’m working on a practice. I wish you well and I hope that one day I might get a ‘special edition’ too! With love from Lanzarote (I do, on the other hand, live in Paradise…).

      • Kathy on December 13, 2023 at 6:37 am

        Lucy, Paradise is good. 💜

  6. J J Hicks on December 13, 2023 at 2:25 am

    4:00 am every day one way or another. Every day confront Resistance. Every day pull the words from the ether. Every day honor the Muse.

  7. Pete Bidstrup on December 13, 2023 at 2:40 am

    Thanks, Steve. As a former college athlete and long time Coach, meditator and budding mindfulness teacher, the importance of – the sanctity of – a practice is essential. We get good at what we practice. Your words are motivational and so true. My blog is called “The Practice” for this reason. Thank you for the prescient reminder and call to action. – Pete

  8. Eric Biehl on December 13, 2023 at 3:31 am

    Thank you

  9. Jackie on December 13, 2023 at 4:04 am

    Practice: a lifelong pursuit for its own sake. I get this. I drew and painted as a kid. In my teens, words appeared on paper. I’ve had a serious painting practice for 32 years, writing for 18 years. There are times where the paint or a story can make you forget what world your feet are in. This in itself is worth more than gold.
    I had a painter acquaintance, who at her 100th birthday celebration, held up a stack of photos and said her greatest fear was to die before she made it through the stack.
    At times, there’s too much going on.
    Any words of wisdom on narrowing your focus to finish that stack in a future post?

    • Maureen Anderson on December 13, 2023 at 2:05 pm

      That’s my nightmare, too, Jackie. Dying before I have a chance to finish what I started!

    • Kathy on December 14, 2023 at 6:12 am

      I think about that a lot too, Jackie. How much can I paint or sculpt or can I do videos for all of my husband’s music before I die? So crazy, I actually bought one of those miniature dollhouse kits, for myself, for Christmas. You know the ones? Tiny, glorious rooms that have 10,000 tiny pieces to put together, that have wonderful detail, that have a little light… well, they are sweet and one just climbs back into the fantasy of childhood.

      LOL… I sent it back. Am I nuts? I’ve got so much art to do!

  10. Paulo Hoyer on December 13, 2023 at 4:28 am

    Thank you, Steve.
    Ora et Labora.

  11. Lucy on December 13, 2023 at 5:08 am

    Thank you Steve. Thank you, commenters. What a lovely way to connect with people, and to inspire myself to practice? I have just painted a picture and been for a run, and now I will write, and work on my novel, and then I will go shopping, and then I will teach yoga and meditation, and then I will have a glass of wine and go to bed. My life is my practice. Thank you.

    • Krzysiek on December 13, 2023 at 6:42 am

      Beautiful 🙏💚

  12. Joe Badalamente on December 13, 2023 at 6:14 am

    Thank you, Sensei. As always, perfect timing.

  13. Krzysiek on December 13, 2023 at 6:41 am

    Thank you for your beautiful reminder, Steven. I appreciate you and your words 🙏

    Lots of love,


  14. Brian Nelson on December 13, 2023 at 7:37 am

    I read today’s post before going for a run. It is still dark in the PNW at 0720 as I am writing this now. I run with a headlamp, like a miner. The light sways back and forth with my gait, carving a path out of the darkness and fog.

    Was thinking about a practice. I knew I wanted to get 5ish miles in this morning. I know the park very well, I have run here 1000s of times in the last 30 years. But the world looks different in the dark. In the fog.

    A practice brings just enough light to see the few steps ahead of you. It doesn’t need to highlight all the terrain, or the nuance of the trail. Only enough light to see and avoid that tree root, the puddle. The rest we intuit with our body.

    I knew my goal, but the exact how was hidden.

    When I’m lost in fear, anxiety, doubt, angst–when Resistance has me by the short hairs–I believe I need to wait for the sun. I need a fully illuminated path. This is a lack of faith. This is how Peter sank instead of remaining on the water.

    How many repetitions are required before the practice becomes the reward? 1000s? 10s of 1000s? Not sure, but am so grateful that there is something I can do that reliably fills my cup each time I practice.

    • Mukta Mani Punj on December 13, 2023 at 8:29 am

      What a beautiful thought, Brian! Never thought of practice in that context – “when practice itself becomes the reward”. Worth remembering throughout life. 🙏

      • Brian Nelson on December 13, 2023 at 12:50 pm

        Thank you Mutka. I’m echoing what I learned here. If we have no rights to the fruits of our labor, then it must mean that the labor somehow becomes the fruit.

    • Lin Keeling on December 13, 2023 at 11:29 am

      Beautiful, Brian! Great image–a headlamp in the fog; seeing only a few steps in front of us and moving forward with faith. That’s all any of us can do.

      • Brian Nelson on December 13, 2023 at 12:51 pm

        Thank you Lin. It is rather hypnotic to watch the swaying light, a small cone of fidelity surrounded by impenetrable darkness. Merry Christmas.

        • Nom de Plume on December 14, 2023 at 9:25 pm

          Well written, Brian! What an image!

          • Brian Nelson on December 15, 2023 at 1:41 pm

            Thanks Nom. Occasionally an apt description leaps from my fingers.
            Merry Christmas.

    • Joe on December 14, 2023 at 9:40 pm

      B! Your headlamp/running comment makes me think about the E.L. Doctorow quote:

      “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.“

      • Brian Nelson on December 15, 2023 at 1:40 pm

        Thanks Joe. I’m an unintentional plagiarist. Merry Christmas.

        Also, love the recognition that it is more important to sit 10 minutes today than the hundreds of hours previously.

  15. Mukta Mani Punj on December 13, 2023 at 8:22 am

    Thank you for your wonderful words Steven.
    I loved the six characteristics of a practice. I feel I must add my seventh one.

    #7 A Practice demands that you create a fostering / protective environment around it.

    My Teacher says, every worthy farmer knows that it’s not enough to sow and water the seeds. He also knows that he has to build a fence around his crop in order to protect it from getting grazed by wild animals. The conducive environment which helps build our focus and which protects us from moving away from our Practice is of equal importance. It can be the company of like minded individuals or reading purpose-driven words of Steven Pressfild.

    • Jackie on December 13, 2023 at 11:36 am

      I like #7. This may be the answer to my question on how to get all projects done. Build that fence to protect precious time. Thank you.

  16. jfridgley on December 13, 2023 at 8:52 am

    Practice Practice. Yes. And just keeping it going is a challenge. I have completed one and am editing that while having to hold off working on the new draft that is coming along great…like the fragrance of promised baking cupcakes. I wanna eat those instead of working on the edit salad. But you are right..we just keep this fire going…ang going and going. Thank you for your thoughts they are fantastic

  17. Bing on December 13, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Yesterday I did my art practice, I tried as usual to create something interesting, something worth looking at. When I was finished I felt it “totally sucked”. That evening I wrote in my journal If I did not have the written contract that I made for myself to make art everyday for 30 days I would have quit like I usually do for weeks and months.
    I once read someone yelling, I think it was Thomas Merton. “Is there a Christian in the House” Yea, over here, I am a Christen. I believe I am a son of God, I believe God gave me artistic ability. Every piece of art I do God puts it on His refrigerator, He is crazy about everything I create. It is the adversary that is the problem. The adversary has only one agenda, to kill, steal and destroy, John 10:10. He hates 24/7 my artistic ability. Whats weird is I am also a woodworker and a builder, the enemy leaves me alone when I do those two.
    Love to All,

    • Brian Nelson on December 13, 2023 at 2:15 pm

      God puts my art on his refrigerator. That is fantastic.

      The enemy leaves me alone when I do those two.

      That sounded like a Pressfield-ism for sure. Well done. Thank you. It helps.

    • Nom de Plume on December 14, 2023 at 9:29 pm

      Wow, is that powerful! God putting your (all of our?) art on His refrigerator. What a visual!

  18. Diane Dreher on December 13, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    Beautiful insight,Steve. I’ve trained in aikido and know the importance of practice–a lesson I’m now applying to my writing practice, meditation, and piano practice, thanks to you. In the western world, we’re taught to focus on the result, the product. But the wisdom of the east and the wisdom of the arts, recognizes that the process is the practice.

  19. Alessandro Ayudarte on December 13, 2023 at 4:53 pm

    Practice! Thank you from Brazil.

  20. Natalie Sho Gen on December 14, 2023 at 1:14 am

    I take these words and print them out BIG in my studio. This is my goal for 2024 – establish a solid, stable, daily art practice. Thank you for your words, your wisdom, your knowledge and thank you for charing them. You are amazing – I just recently discovered your book ‘the war of art’ – I wish I would have found it ealier!!!!

  21. Joe on December 14, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    My meditation practice had been consistently inconsistent for many years, and it was during the first months of the pandemic that I started using the Waking Up app. While it’s helped me to bring daily consistency, Sam’s guided meditations have also helped deepen my practice. Subtle shifts in perception through observations like: “It’s not as much being ‘aware OF consciousness’ as it is being ‘aware AS consciousness.'”

    There is a point where “I’ve sat 258 hours of meditation” becomes less important than “Did I sit for 10 minutes this morning?”

  22. Ashley Sewell on December 28, 2023 at 3:14 am

    This is true that good practice can make a person perform the best. At the university level, where students need to be more practical about their dissertations, they often start writing without learning. Due to this issue, they don’t perform well. Therefore, it becomes necessary for them to get dissertation help from experts who have good hands-on experience in dissertation writing.

  23. TipTop Enrichtung on January 1, 2024 at 12:08 am

    friseurstühle are the chairs available for clients in a hair salon. They are designed to be comfortable and allow the hairdresser easy access to the client’s hair.

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