Report from the Trenches, #19

Following up on our Poll and its responses from the past two weeks, I’m thinking it might be helpful for me to share my own process and the craziness inside my head right now. Here goes:

The Daily Pressfield is out now, but that was completed (for the writing part, not the promotion) almost two years ago. Since then I’ve been working on—and just finished—a follow-up to A Man at Arms that came out in 2021. I’m really happy with this new one, but as far as my mental health is concerned, that job is over. 

What’s next?

I’ve got two others, both nonfiction, that are at various half-assed points of completion. I have faith in both, but neither one is really catching fire for me right now.

So I’ve started another fiction piece. I’m racked with self-doubt over it. Big, big Resistance. The voice in my head is telling me the idea is really dumb (which it may be) and for sure not commercial. The voice is telling me the idea is totally out of the areas I’ve been writing in (which it is) so that no reader who likes my stuff is going to want to follow me into this totally new area.

And the idea is lightweight. It’s not big or bold or ambitious (though already it’s really hard). The voice is telling me I’ve run out of big ideas. I’m over the hill. It’s time to move to the farm. 

Worse, I think, of this new idea, “How could I possibly sell or promote this?” I have no answer for that either.

Notice please that I’m not offering even the tiniest clue in this post as to what this idea is about. That’s because I’m superstitious. It’s been my practice for years when I start a new project to give the file a name that’s NOT the name of the real book. Why? Because the devil might be watching and I don’t want him to be able to find the file and screw it up.

Ming the Merciless. If only our adversaries were this clear and obvious.

Why am I offering this report from the trenches? I’m not sure myself. I think maybe to encourage all of us reading this with the notion that the process of writing is nuts … and we all go through these ordeals of massive self-doubt and self-sabotage.

Bottom line for me: I’m not stopping. I take the voice in my head as pure Resistance and I draw strength from it, reckoning that Big Resistance = Big Dream. And even though I don’t see how this new project is going to work or possibly appeal to anybody, I know I have to keep going AS IF I WERE CERTAIN that it will or that, even if it doesn’t, it’s important FOR ME in whatever journey I’m on, even though I have no idea what that journey might be or where it’s headed, if it’s headed anywhere at all.

Shit like this is why writers and artists flame out or fall off the path. These are the crazy (and I DO mean crazy) obstacles and shape-shifting fake-outs our work makes us face. There’s not even a name for them. They’re the totally glamourless, quotidian, uncinematic, pain-in-the-ass, solitary-to-us ordeals that nobody but us knows about and even we think we’re crazy when we find ourselves coming up against them.

The pro, I’m telling myself, keeps going even when no progress is visible. Even when her time in the hundred is going up and not down, even when there’s not a part of her body that isn’t hurt and aching. The amateur lets these dark patches discourage her and break her will. The pro shuts up and keeps going.

That’s what I’m telling myself now.


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. Mitch Peters on February 28, 2024 at 1:47 am

    Whatever the new idea is, you simply need to follow it through.
    Thanks to your books I have been releasing my original music into the world again after nearly giving up decades ago. I’m loving the songwriting process and the muse has been very kind to me .
    Your weekly email is one of the highlights of every week, thanks so much for sharing your process so openly.
    Love from Melbourne, Australia.

    • Pete Miller on February 28, 2024 at 4:14 am

      Also Australian also but living overseas. partly I believe, to get away from Resistance. But it travelled with me!

      Anyway, I’m the same; unlike most messages, Steven’s email is read. And I too, dragged out my previous texts and am enjoying re-writing and updating them – mostly because the War of Art kicked my butt until it was bruised black and blue …

      • Susan on February 28, 2024 at 8:26 am

        Oops. My comment was meant for the main thread….sorry, dear.

    • Yvonne on February 28, 2024 at 11:08 am

      Thank you for sharing this honest post (and such a personal one)… it makes me feel less alone and more “normal”. Resistance is what makes me feel like giving up, makes me feel like “Why bother?” My favorite part of your post was:
      “And even though I don’t see how this new project is going to work or possibly appeal to anybody, I know I have to keep going AS IF I WERE CERTAIN that it will or that, even if it doesn’t, it’s important FOR ME in whatever journey I’m on, even though I have no idea what that journey might be or where it’s headed, if it’s headed anywhere at all.”
      Man, that is exactly how I feel—you couldn’t have been any more accurate describing my own struggles. Looking forward to reading *all* your new endeavors!

  2. Peter Brockwell on February 28, 2024 at 1:57 am

    You need to press on and ignore the Resistance. That shit will kill you, as some wise dude (wise guy?) has taught us.

    Whatever this latest project is, it’s clearly vital for the evolution of your soul, just like the piece I’m presently working on is for mine (as doubtless were the various others I abandoned before I learned to recognise Resistance). The same wise dude said that too.

    We’re very grateful you’re sharing this with us, but stay on task soldier!

    And do publish that AMaA sequel!! (OMFG!)

    Best wishes from the grey damp rock across the Pond.

    • Susan on February 28, 2024 at 8:25 am

      Yes! That is Fire!! Fire at will….no, Fire with will. The will is everything! Thank G-d for you Mr. Pressfield

    • Susan on February 28, 2024 at 8:27 am

      Oops. My comment was meant for the main thread. Sorry, dear.

  3. Charles on February 28, 2024 at 2:09 am

    Dear Seth has a way of saying that when this resistance comes up, it’s an indicator we’re doing something worthwhile! Welcome it, dance with it, and let it go 🕺🏻!!
    Or was it you that said that?
    And as Seneca taught us, what if it’s a flop??? Aren’t you allowed to do something that might not catch with all your readership, maybe just a part, and maybe it will bring in new Pressfield readers in the fold!
    In any ways! Maybe Resistance keeps your blade sharp and your mind strong. Like a good sparring buddy.

  4. Milan on February 28, 2024 at 2:21 am

    Wait, I didn’t get it- do we read a follow up on Man or not? 😁
    Well, the idea might suck, but who cares, we’ll buy the book anyhow, read it and then answer about it and then, and only then, do you know. Cuz you do have a history of good writing.

  5. Jessica Scheper on February 28, 2024 at 2:28 am

    Thank you SO much for sharing this, and also for all of your books and other work that you do. I’ve become a fan since I heard you on a podcast last year, which made me read The War of Art, which helped me write my own books. Those demons though…it’s sort of a relief to hear that even you are still struggling with them. I wish it wasn’t so, though! But I trust that you’ll keep on fighting. As will I. Very curious about your new idea, looking forward to hearing more about it. Greetings from Holland (The Netherlands)

  6. Tolis on February 28, 2024 at 2:53 am

    Thank you so much dear Steve.

    Damn I have that devil on my front too. Everything has no power in it. The very words I write are like ants in front of the elephant of my desire: they are actually totally unimportant, if you can focus on the notion of unimportance. They are like the handle of my room’s door, like the toilet’s lid, like the cable of the hanging ceiling light, they are THAT unimportant. Damn me, writing with whatever I can, then reading that and it being a nothingness. Where is that flame? I mean, it is here, I can feel it. Where is it on those (here we put a bad word) black signs on the white page? It can’t be transfered!

    The elephant needs elephants in order to notice them, not ants.

    I’m still seeking the holly grail.

    • Tolis on February 28, 2024 at 2:59 am

      By the way, maybe that elephant may be helping us in terms that he won’t accept ants from us. He will only accept elephants. And all our ants will be crushed by our elephantish desire. So he may indeed be guiding us. Creating elephantish words is no simple or flowing thing, so what he crushes is what we must not do. Give him elephants, let him live a meaningful life.

  7. Beth on February 28, 2024 at 3:03 am

    You nailed it – Big Resistance = Big Dream. Thank you for that reminder this morning. I needed it. And thank you for sharing your struggles with us as well. So often I feel completely alone. If one more person asks me, “when is the book going to be done?” or “why is it taking so long?” I may hit someone. But I’ve got a big dream. I so want this book to be good, and out in the world, not for me but for the people whose stories I’m telling. I feel not alone, and seen, when I read your posts each week. I’ll keep going today. You keep going, too. I hope perhaps you can lean on this community a bit as much as we lean on you.

  8. Inci Haksoz on February 28, 2024 at 3:16 am

    I am reading Jeffery Deaver’s Solitude Creek and I realized that if you write it well even the ideas that have never got my attention before become interesting. I am learning not only about the topic but also how well-crafted the mystery novel is. So, don’t worry about the topic. just craft it well. I am sure we’ll like it.
    Also, please don’t give up writing because you are inspiring people like me to keep going.

    “Resistance will kill you if you let it. Sit chilly. Keep writing. The real enemy is inside us. Each day we, as professionals, face the same monsters. We press our palms together and we bow.” Steven Pressfield.

  9. Kathy on February 28, 2024 at 3:18 am

    You’re like a soothing stroke across my forehead, Mr Pressfield. If you can express your insecurities and yet continue to create the necessary lines of what your heart needs to say, then I’m ok too. My lines, whether strokes on canvas or smoothing clay or figuring out the last line of a poem, are safe, as long as I let them breathe into being.,Breathe. 🍃🌸🍃

    • Kathy on February 28, 2024 at 7:26 am

      The night after my husband, Denny, died, I was awakened by a from a dream, by LOUD, “BREATHE”. That was unrelated to the dream. It wasn’t my husband’s voice but it was definitely his spirit. So, I’m left to ask, if I’m not creating, outside my comfort zone, am I really breathing? The thing he wanted most for me was time to create. So, I need to BREATHE. 🍃🌸🍃

      • Kathy on February 28, 2024 at 7:26 am

        Gads, typos! On my phone so cannot see!

      • Kathy on February 28, 2024 at 7:50 am

        BREATHE, Mr Pressfield… BREATHE. There is no other choice. 🍃🌸🍃

  10. Julio Baptista Barroco on February 28, 2024 at 3:33 am

    This one really honors the #19 for me indeed at so many levels. May we all benefit from it in whatever trench we’re in.

    • Violet on February 28, 2024 at 4:42 am

      Thankyou Steven
      Devils not going get me today. I might start making Mr and Mrs Demon strong cups of coffee when i make my own and light the wood stove Because they are always there when I wake up cold in the dark Telling my wild creative childlike imaginary friends with all of their tiny but bright udeas that they dont have anything to offer i m vusually impaired my inner world is hyper Active ..songs are gifts. Poems words all of us require even if small and noone hears

      • CC on February 28, 2024 at 5:37 am

        Hmmm , NO! No coffee for them. Enjoy your coffee! Don’t welcome them😳😉

  11. Gregory on February 28, 2024 at 3:50 am

    This is one I needed, Steve. My project is Copernican/Keplerian/Fosburyian. I’m going to tell people we need to think/do the opposite of what we’ve always been doing. And I’m going to apply it outside the scope of my “expertise”. Crazy? Now that’s Resistance.

  12. Marvin Stockwell on February 28, 2024 at 3:51 am

    The two nonfiction books are stuck because this new hard challenge will show you another aspect of Resistance and make the nonfiction books even better… will unlock new insights! Keep going, Steve!


  13. Mitchell Fox on February 28, 2024 at 3:52 am

    Steven…if I may…

    I’ve just recently landed on Planet Pressfield. It took me almost 70 years to find the place. Interesting, to say the least.

    They call me Mr. Fox at work. I teach.

    You can call me Mitchell if you’d like.

  14. Elon Blackwell on February 28, 2024 at 3:55 am

    I appreciate your updates from the trenches and the Daily Pressfield, which I read every day as a creative primer/guide. As creators, we are all pushing forward, each at a different stage. Some of us are standing at the entrance, looking into the chaos of progress, while others are knee-deep in the tough parts that come along with moving forward and digging deep. The path to developing something new and unexpected is narrow and difficult, but it is the way that is led by the One whom there is no searching. His understanding is beyond our mortal comprehension. As you aptly put it, big resistance equals big dreams! Continue to do good and trust the process.

  15. Vanessa Taylor on February 28, 2024 at 4:03 am

    I am a photographer who’s creative life has been changed completely by you sharing your story I tell everyone who will listen about resistance. Every moment of your journey that you share is like liquid gold for my own personal journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

  16. Mike Swearingen on February 28, 2024 at 4:10 am

    Boy oh boy, this is hitting home. My wife and I were just talking about this “new” world we live in now. It seems and feels like resistance is complete constant in our daily lives. I work two jobs. My wife is a mortgage loan officer and I have two businesses, an insurance agency and a wood baseball bat company. We both are working FULL days. Don’t bother counting the actual time AT work;10-11 hour days. It doesn’t stop there. Our phones are constantly dinging and ringing from text, emails and phones calls. We talk about it.. trying to figure it out. Why is nobody doing their job? Why does it take 30 minutes to fix a 1 minute problem? Where are all the hands on humans?! It seems like everybody is just passing the buck so they don’t have to deal with “life”. My wife hasn’t read any of your books. I have listened to many of them on repeat while plugging away in my shop. A true help for a guy who started a wood baseball bat company at the age of 40 (2019) with a family and three kids. Resistance is here in this world and isn’t going away anytime soon. I’m fully aware of that. Not to sound like a old man(44) or anything, but I will, the world is forever changing. People are struggling with the current changes. Money is tight, corporations are getting bigger and richer, it’s a constant race to see how and how fast they can pull the money from the human population . War is raging all over. I gotta say, when all this resistance adds up, it just feels like the only and real answer on these things is evil… I was raised catholic, but do not opening practice. I do believe there is good and evil, angels and demons. I know which side of that coin I want to be on. Resistance is evil. That shit is EVERYWHERE right now. Can’t escape it. I know one thing, I don’t want to lose. I don’t want it to beat me, I don’t want it to beat my wife or my kids. I have to fight and win against it all cost. I’m gonna keep working those 12 hour days and weekends. I’m gonna stay calm in the eyes of defeat and push through. Resistance (evil) isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I am not falling for that shit. I’ll keep going to the river. I’ll keep putting the work in. My sister gave me a photo of a torn baseball when I was in college playing ball. It said, “The Harder You Work, the Luckier You Get”. That was in 1998. I never forgot that picture. Seems to be along the same lines as your thoughts Mr. Pressfield. The muse is always watching. If you keep going to the river, it has to pay. Stay strong Homies! Keep fighting!
    Mike Swearingen

  17. Elaine on February 28, 2024 at 4:14 am

    Mental gymnastics. Flex the muscle. You are an athlete.

  18. Sara Higgins on February 28, 2024 at 4:14 am

    My money is on you Steven. Resistance be damned!

  19. Lindsay on February 28, 2024 at 4:21 am

    If the Muses send you a story you have to follow through or you’re breaking faith.

  20. Yehuda on February 28, 2024 at 4:27 am

    I just had my manuscript of my book delted- without me remembering that I did that… a month’s work went away in a single moment…
    I still had a backup, but it was updated…
    I tried retrieving it, but wasn’t able to.
    I realized it’s resistance’s/devil’s work here.

  21. Debbie L Kasman on February 28, 2024 at 4:29 am

    Hi Steve. I’ve been reading your stuff for a long time. This post may be your best yet. ; )
    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

  22. C.M. O'Slatara on February 28, 2024 at 4:34 am

    I know this feeling. It seems that whenever I don’t belive in a story, people love it. Sometimes, when I really belive in it, it just won’t sell. I can’t figure it out, but it does seem like there is magic in some stories that I am blind to, yet I was compelled to write them, finish them, and put them out there..
    Maybe stories like these are big in a small way. Like how Rocky is just about a no-name boxer who gets to challenge the star but doesn’t end up winning. It’s about the struggle and people love that. Or All Creatures Great and Small is about a country vet. Sometimes people want to pretend to be the hero when they read and sometimes they want the hero to be them.

  23. Jackie on February 28, 2024 at 4:55 am

    Come on, Steve. An idea crazier than talking animals as main characters or paintings of mushrooms? If so, definitely count me in! I want a piece of what you’re putting out into the world. I may be batshit crazy, but I’m really happy painting those effing mushrooms and making animals “talk”. Cheers to those who keep to the task no matter what! Wishing everyone a great week.

  24. Alex on February 28, 2024 at 4:56 am

    Heck yeah, man. Sounds like a good one. That “lightweight” baby is in the cocoon. In my crazy little world of leading homeschool, working web design, managing our wannabe farm, etc., etc., I fell off of my meager (though, in my opinion, admirable) writing routine mid-November. So I briefly (finally) popped back into it yesterday, and you know what Resistance said, right? “Look at this shit. There ain’t no way you’re doing this.” But I am. Thank you for helping lead me in this little rebellion, and cheers from east Texas, here in my fire of many irons. 🙂

  25. Karen D Taylor on February 28, 2024 at 5:01 am

    As I read this week’s post, I remembered what you said in War of Art about Resistance and if a writer is feeling fear, and a lot of it, then it means there must be no choice but tomato go ahead with the project. The fear is indicative of the significance of that particular project.

    Rest assured, whether your new project is not your normal type ow writing style or not, this Pressfield fan will read it. I bet it will be fantastic.

    You have inspired many writers and you continue to do so.

  26. Rock Kendzior on February 28, 2024 at 5:04 am

    Love it and know the feeling well. Stay the course.

  27. Anonymous on February 28, 2024 at 5:19 am

    Here I sat in my trough of despair, wondering if my muses have become so fed up with me they may never return. And then I read this from one of my greatest advisors, someone who has had incredible success courting those muses and producing the words that prop me back up at my keyboard time and again.

    Thanks for this report from the trenches, Steve. Needed the virtual kick in the bahookie (as my Scottish friend calls it)!

    We soldier on.

  28. Qurban on February 28, 2024 at 5:20 am

    Thanks Steven! Thx fir sharing about how difficult the process can be for you but how you persevere anyways!

  29. DOC ENZ, Robert W. Enzenauer, MD, BG Retired on February 28, 2024 at 5:38 am

    I suspect if you were NOT marine, you might quit. Stay strong, DOC ENZ, Robert W. Enzenauer, D, BG Retired

    Illegitimi non carborundum

  30. Bindu on February 28, 2024 at 5:38 am

    Thank you for sharing. You are definitely a pro.

  31. Kathy Holmes on February 28, 2024 at 5:45 am

    My personal hell is this – I used to write fiction but when I told somebody music is my first love, I realized I should be pursuing music. But sometimes I wonder if I should get back to writing fiction. I certainly earned more with my novels. But is that just Resistance to music talking? Or is music Resistance to writing talking? I think I know the answer to that now.

  32. Scott Cohen on February 28, 2024 at 5:57 am

    Steven-sometimes i’m the writer -the batter; Resistance is the pitcher. Today they bring in a new R from the bullpen who throws blazing sinkers. I tell myself to hang in there and keep swinging. Maybe just get a piece of it today. A foul ball is great. Tomorrow, if I get a single, it’ll be a winning day.
    Thank you for these posts! We all are sending you more gratitude than can be expressed.

  33. Miriam C on February 28, 2024 at 5:59 am

    I really appreciated this post today. I was sick recently with a respiratory infection that got the whole family (all 5 kids and husband). I was so lucky I got it twice. My writing was at a critical point and I had to take time to heal. I began to feel a very strong resistance to going back to my writing – a voice telling me that my book idea was stupid and why even bother. I have been trying to get back in my routines without success. I had just finished your 5 writing books and I knew that this illness might throw me off course. It did and I am struggling still.

    So today I opened up your email and it reminded me that I need to get to my book. Why? Because I disagreed so much with everything negative you said about yourself – I realized it was no different then what I was saying about my own work. Your books have added an intense clarity to my purpose of writing. There is no way to know if I am a bad or good writer unless I finish. I owe it to myself and to my family. Your new book with the 365 day journal is sitting on my desk – it was an anniversary gift. I was waiting for the perfect day to open it, I knew I’d know when that day came when it arrived. It’s today. I’m going to start “The Daily Pressfield” and this month I plan to read one of your war books. I’m a cross-over reader and excited to start reading your other types of writing. I also wanted to thank you for recommending Edith Hamilton’s Greek Mythology book on your YouTube, it was good reading while I was sick. Onward and upward.

  34. CC on February 28, 2024 at 6:00 am

    Big Resistance = Big Dreams that ole beatch resistance (karma’s sister🤔) it appears is working overtime because your new fiction idea is not only taking you to new territory, but because it’s going to be huge. Everything she’s throwing at you: it’s, dumb, lightweight, new ground, out of your expertise, you’re over the hill, retire…marketing🙄 Can’t wait to follow you on this expotition.

    • Mellie Smith on February 28, 2024 at 6:46 am

      Simple movement burns calories, but it is resistance that builds strength in a muscle. And talkin’ trash, getting into an opponent’s head, is a regular part of competition. Perhaps recognizing Resistance as a particularly obnoxious friend rather than an unknown and inexplicable enemy would help.

      Like a Drill Sergeant whom you hate, Resistance has a job to do – to separate out who will make the grade and who will not. Those who develop the necessary strength and become pros will eventually look back and recognize the need for the DS, and even be grateful to the old SOB, while the flabby amateurs will resent him forever and blame the DS for his or her own failure to make the cut.

      Resistance isn’t futile – it is essential. But it must be overcome to fulfill its purpose.

  35. Jean Alexander on February 28, 2024 at 6:01 am

    Wow. That next to last paragraph. Exactly what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you, Mr. Pressfield. I’m a Software Product Manager, not a professional writer, but it is my job to tell the right stories to the right people at just the right time. I look forward to your Writing Wednesdays emails every week. Please keep fighting the good fight, and sharing your progress. We all need to hear it.

  36. Michelle Wolff on February 28, 2024 at 6:19 am

    Thank you Steven

  37. Robbie Kaye on February 28, 2024 at 6:36 am

    A f****** men! To quote Tom Waits, “Somebody’s been reading my mail.” :-). Thank you Steven…a hundred times over. I thank you and my resistance thanks you!

  38. Jan Bowler on February 28, 2024 at 6:48 am

    What a gift you are to writers, Steven Pressfield. Revealing that all those voices, urges, and competing priorities that insist our work is unworthy and our dreams ridiculous, are neither valid nor unique is beyond valuable. Not to mention being the standard bearer for the fact that Resistance is NEVER going to ease up. You are a generous and courageous leader. Thank you seems necessary but insufficient.

  39. John J Checki Jr. on February 28, 2024 at 7:39 am

    We used to watch that version of “Flash Gordon” so often we knew the words. Thanks for the Flashback. Luckily for all of us your last name is “Pressfield”, and that is exactly what you are doing Pressing on and on as the Pro you are. Yikes, I started writing daily again as well. Thank you for Writing Wednesday, and be Encouraged, sir.

  40. Jim Gohrick on February 28, 2024 at 7:45 am

    Wow! This was a great post. Thanks for sharing your stripped-down raw feelings with us. It inspires me to move forward through my day knowing you’re in the trenches next to me.
    I once heard that we were created from a divine entity. And because of that, the ideas that come to us are from that same source. And therefore, divine ideas. Maybe it’s not for us to judge “dumb” ideas, but rather take that gift we received and cultivate it into something that was forged through us.
    You are a true warrior Steven. Thank you for being you. Thank you for caring. Thank you for taking risks and squaring your shoulders up to what you fear. It only helps me in being a better artist.

  41. Adele on February 28, 2024 at 7:54 am

    “it’s important FOR ME in whatever journey I’m on, even though I have no idea what that journey might be or where it’s headed, if it’s headed anywhere at all.”
    This. This is the heart of it all.

  42. Wayne H on February 28, 2024 at 7:56 am

    Thanks for sharing your process, it helps. Your a badass.

    • Wayne on February 28, 2024 at 7:57 am


  43. Scott Bowlus on February 28, 2024 at 8:09 am

    Thanks Steven – this is terrific. I really dig that others do the same mental gymnastics that I do. One aspect of Resistance that I dealt with today was comfort. It was a rest day so I did no training in the morning and was very content to read your post and drink my coffee in the comfortable chair I was in. I fooled myself by saying that I would reply to this post from the computer in my studio and actually ended up painting for an hour or more before replying.

  44. Sarah on February 28, 2024 at 8:20 am

    Thank you for sharing this Steven.
    I am writing my first novel and it’s day 28 in the process. Yesterday I hit my first wall. It felt horrible. Total despair. Like a burnout and a breakdown.
    It’s really hard being a full time mom to two kids, most of the time alone to do everything and carve out two hours to write. But yesterday, as I drove back from dropping my daughter at school, I pondered the choice : stop writing, get back on top of things but die inside, or continue writing, everything else is a mess but at least my flame is alive.
    I chose the second because I remembered your words on resistance and how it could take different forms. And I hung to that telling myself that this craziness is resistance. That there must be a way forward.
    But reading you this morning gives me even more courage because one thought that dominated yesterday was that my writing idea is dumb. Rubbish. Not interesting. How could I even believe in it in the first place!
    But I will stay in the trenches and keep writing my bad idea.
    Thank you for your help, today, and through all your other books.

  45. Kate Stanton on February 28, 2024 at 8:24 am

    Your authenticity shines. The War of Art brought me here, but the weekly wisdom keeps me here. Have a productive week, creators!!

  46. Susan on February 28, 2024 at 8:26 am

    Yes! That is Fire!! Fire at will….no, Fire with will. The will is everything! Thank G-d for you Mr. Pressfield

  47. Helena Bouchez on February 28, 2024 at 8:26 am

    Interesting. What if you just let this one be you talking to yourself? Have you seen this video? When it comes to art, it is everything. I watch it a couple times a year. (And, Vi Hart is a genius.)

    • Maureen Anderson on March 1, 2024 at 12:00 pm

      Thanks for sharing this, Helena! Loved it!

    • Gerald A Lantz on March 5, 2024 at 8:40 am

      Hey thanks for this video. I have since watched others. She IS brilliant!

  48. Tiffany on February 28, 2024 at 8:28 am

    Your writing and your words always find me when I need them most, thank you for this reminder!

  49. M Haven on February 28, 2024 at 8:36 am

    Thank you for laying it bare for us to witness. I’m an artist who has the same internal war. It always helps to hear that others do too. It keeps me going.

  50. Tom Vandel on February 28, 2024 at 9:23 am

    This truly resonates with me, Steven. I’m struggling trying to write my second novel and finding it as hard as the first. I’m trying to write a novel told through poems and short stories with a narrative thread. It’s looking like it will be a disaster but I’m halfway through and far enough where I won’t stop. It may be the worst thing I’ve ever written (have also written a book of short stories and book of poems), and I can’t see how readers will take it – it’s gonna take a lot of mortar and shaping to make it work. Hope we both make it!

  51. Daniel Beckworth on February 28, 2024 at 9:30 am

    I needed this today. Big resistance = big dream.

  52. Gene on February 28, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Thank you for reminding us there is a way out, that the road is through the wall. And that we each find our own path through it..

  53. KTO on February 28, 2024 at 9:53 am

    Resistance knows you want to finish what you start, and is using that against you. Know when to cut your losses on what’s not really meant for you. Pass the baton, share the foundation of what you have begun. Give your current ideas to someone you know who needs them to unfold his or her own artistic output.
    Resistance is doubly rotten. It’s trying to keep out something unique that only you have the experience and chops to reveal, and simultaneously is keeping your current idea away from another artist. You are the bridge, the conduit for both to be released into the world. Follow me? Send your current ideas, as is, unfinished, to an artist you know can handle the next leg, in order to open space for YOUR intended idea to take shape.
    No, you don’t know what yours is yet, but you will after you clear the runway for it to land.

  54. chuck beisch on February 28, 2024 at 10:05 am

    just so you know old Advertising buddy
    Hitler was superstitious as is Trump and so am I
    so you’re in good company


    PS If we don’t have creativity we don’t have a reason to hang around
    keep up the good work

  55. Charmaine Horn on February 28, 2024 at 10:07 am

    Thank you so much for being real and sharing your experience of Resistance… even if you’ve been writing for so long! This helps me see that nothing is wrong with me when Resistance comes up… Please keep on writing! Thank you so much for these Wednesday blogs as well! They are my favorite emails to read during the week 🙂

  56. Michael J. Lotus on February 28, 2024 at 10:10 am

    Big Resistance = Big Dream
    The Muse is always right.
    Write it, and they will come.
    “They” may only be a few people, but that is who the Muse meant it for.

  57. Drew on February 28, 2024 at 10:12 am

    Thanks for sharing your most recent post Steve. It’s a good ‘un. It is at once discouraging AND encouraging to know that someone as accomplished as you still struggles with Resistance. I mean, heck…you gave the bloody thing a name! 🙂
    It sounds like you’re doing some serious work right now and you know better than anyone what that dredges up. If nothing else it reminds me that “superstition”, the “devil” and Resistance are all the same thing. (though one could argue that “superstition” could be more the feeling that our work is not “ready” to be shared with others)
    For better or for worse, it is all my own mind. Often for worse, sometimes for better but, every morning, I am reminded of this quote from “Turning Pro”:
    “For myself, I was years into the act of having a practice before I even thought about its efficacy as a strategy to overcome my own Resistance. Resistance was (and is) a given for me. It wakes up with me. I know I will have to face it every day, and I know it will never diminish or relent or go away.”

    If nothing else, Resistance is a way-in to better understanding and managing one’s own mind. For me, it often feels less like a blessing and more like a curse, but continuing a PRACTICE does feel like the only antidote to the “poison” of Resistance (anxiety, self doubt, overly-developed pathological critic). Constantly tying oneself to the whipping post can be exhausting and it can be very difficult to find balance in it all; knowing when to keep pushing forward and when to give oneself a break. The world and all it’s trappings continues to beckon us to join it and venturing into the realm of the “unknown” is uncomfortable, but it’s the only place to renew oneself. It is where Art resides.

  58. Jet on February 28, 2024 at 10:24 am

    Hunh. The last time you had a crazy idea for a fiction book, it put you on the map. Go for it. Oh, yeah, you already said you are.

  59. Sam Luna on February 28, 2024 at 10:32 am

    Thanks for the transparency, Coach. The shiny new work is out but the sugar rush was over for you 2 years ago. Now, what’s next?? I’m right there myself.

  60. Angus on February 28, 2024 at 11:24 am

    Loved A Man at Arms. I put it in our prison library and recommend it to the guys often. And Turning Pro. Looking forward to the next one; we’ll get it in for sure. Thanks for all your stuff Steven.

  61. Mike on February 28, 2024 at 11:41 am

    I stopped reading at a sequel to A Man at Arms!!!! 🙂 But seriously, I appreciate the look inside. I think this post is a big middle finger to the Resistance! 🙂 Keep grinding! Can’t wait for the sequel!!

  62. Krissy Anderson on February 28, 2024 at 11:56 am

    I like the way you think. I get it. It would be interesting to go back a year and see what your resistance was like then. Obviously you pressed on successfully. And you will continue to do so. There is no hurry in the flow. Writers are never too old. So, let it come out naturally like it did when you were a child. It’s a beautiful thing to have what we have. It beats plumber’s butt IMO. (Absolutely no offense to plumbers.)

  63. Tom Clark on February 28, 2024 at 12:40 pm

    Reading your work is an interesting phenomenon.

    Because (I can only speak for myself, but I’m guessing it applies to others) I read your work not to ‘experience a masterful piece’, but to SEE and experience your journey and how you move through it… which, turns out to be a masterful read.

    For this reason, you can’t fail.
    Your next piece can’t ‘bomb’.

    It’s Pressfields work, so by default, it’s innately valuable.

  64. Judith on February 28, 2024 at 12:41 pm

    Well, you managed to encourage me. So there. Take that.

  65. Victoria Montanaro on February 28, 2024 at 4:32 pm

    I am superstitious, too. Good idea not to let any hints of the cat out of the bag until fully-formed and ripened.

    I wouldn’t worry at all about your new book’s appeal. You have a strong following and you’re super in-tuned with what the world needs. If you are thinking it, then you can be sure we need to read it!

    Carry on, as you do! I will, too!

  66. Franceen Brodkin on February 28, 2024 at 8:19 pm

    “The Pro shuts up and keeps going.”
    Makes me think of Sondheim’s “Move On” from “Sunday in the Park with George.”

    Just keep moving on
    Anything you do, let it come from you
    Then it will be new
    Give us more to see.

    (We will love it. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your journey with us.)

  67. Tanja Mitrusic on February 29, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    I have been delaying in reading this email. I’m glad I did. Today was the day I was to read it. I will not let this darkness discourage me anymore. It’s tried to top me off. Fuck off! I’m a pro. Thank you Steven. Your words have been encouraging.

  68. Claire Templeton on February 29, 2024 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing!
    And I think it was you who said that the resistance is at its strongest just as we’re about to make a breakthrough.
    I often think of that.

    P.S. are the signed books available for shipping to the UK yet?

  69. Chuck DeBettignies on February 29, 2024 at 2:12 pm

    Mark Twain said, “None of us are smart enough to remember all we know.” So I send these comments in that spirit.

    The big resistance confirms, this project is something you really should/need to do.

    Steve, you indicate you’re not sure if there would be interest, or if this project would connect with people. I’m sure your project/story would contain or be in harmony with the “Hero’s Journey.” So there’s that universal connection.

    You mentioned Steve, in one of your books . . . that, “The inciting incident of a story is the introduction of the ‘mystery.’ Act Two, becomes the lead’s quest to get to the bottom of the mystery.”

    Now here’s the thing.
    You go on to say, “In Act Three, (the lead character) succeeds. But, if the story is a good one, this revelation only leads to a deeper mystery – a mystery that sheds light on some profound aspect of life or love or the human condition.”

    I read that little passage regularly, Steve. It’s helped me so many times. . . .

    • CeeMac on February 29, 2024 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you. Your weekly emails reassure me that I’m not imagining things, nor am I alone in the Struggle.

      I’m flaming out on book three of a trilogy that (for the first two books) I felt passion for. Book one received great reviews. Book two has won a couple of small awards. Here we are, 75% done with the first draft of book 3 and I can’t find the passion, can’t find the characters, can’t find nuthin’.

      And I’ll keep on writing, even if it’s 20 words a day.

      Thanks, Steven.

  70. Gerry on February 29, 2024 at 7:22 pm

    Way leads on way grasshopper! Let this idea breathe if only to satisfy your curiosity about it. Guide yourself as you have guided us so generously. Thanks for the post. Keep us updated as encouragement for our own work.

  71. Anntonina Fujitsubo on March 1, 2024 at 9:08 pm

    This is encouraging. Way more encouraging than other posts. I see and feel your fight. Your new novel sounds very promising. The more you are afraid, the more you are closer to your core. Therefore, obstacles, a big resistance. It’s an equation. It’s like you are going to space, you must go through an enormous pressure until a change or shift is completed. A top looks still standing mysteriously when it’s spinning fast, if it slows down, it can’t keep standing.
    (English is my second language)

  72. Meenakshi on March 1, 2024 at 10:59 pm

    Wishing you the best for the work you are currently engaged in. Looking forward to reading it, whatever it may be.

  73. Bill on March 3, 2024 at 8:45 am

    I’m eagerly awaiting your sequel to ‘A Man at Arms’, Steven, and whatever else breaks through The Resistance! And I know it will…..

  74. Jerry Brown on March 3, 2024 at 2:58 pm

    Dear Steven, Keep fighting the fight. What you have to say is important, and the universe is waiting to hear it.

  75. Melissa on March 7, 2024 at 6:52 pm

    Self Doubt? Dumb Idea? Not Commercial?

    Listen up.
    I’m gonna slap you upside the head the way you slapped me over and over,
    each and every time I pulled War of Art off the virtual shelf of my audio library,
    during all those periods of self-destructive self-doubt,
    when what I really needed was a good wartime kick in the khakis.

    Just write the damn thing.

    No encouraging ‘all caps’.
    No applauding exclamation points.
    Stop worrying and sit your butt down in the chair and write.
    What do you have to lose?
    If it stinks? It stinks.
    If it’s good? It’s good.
    If it’s great?
    Yeah, probably not;
    at least, not until you’ve worked it like a toddler
    works yellow and red into a big old lump of swirly orange Play-doh.

    But you already know this.
    This is what you tell us every Wednesday
    (and if we’re paying attention, we read it again and twice on Sunday).
    It’s just another color of resistance.
    The late, great Jimmy Buffet sings,
    ‘The walls that won’t come down,
    you can decorate or climb,
    or find some way to get around.
    But I’m still on your side.
    From the bottom of my heart.”

    You brought us all together and we are on your side.

    Now, stop whining and get to work.
    They’re only walls.
    Either knock them down or sit a minute and enjoy the shade.
    Then knock them down.
    Either way, get back to work.
    ‘Cause, you got this.

    (Who’s your granny, now?)

  76. Theda on March 9, 2024 at 7:51 pm

    Love Melissa’s comments! “Who’s your granny, now?” LOL
    Just got my copy of The Daily Pressfield and the companion journal. Going to start a serious battle with Resistance!
    Thanks, Steven Pressfield!

  77. Sionnach on March 11, 2024 at 1:27 pm

    I FINALLY got my copy of the Daily Pressfield. Due to budget constraints, I had to get the Kindle version, but I’m so happy! Thank you!

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