Search Results: Report From the Trenches

Last Report from the Trenches

By Steven Pressfield | 30 Comments

  My sense is that maybe it’s time to dial down our “Reports from the Trenches.” The big takeaway of the series actually came in the first week:   Even long-time successful writers crash and burn. It happens to me just like it happens to everybody.   I hope the follow-up posts have been helpful. But my sense is that we may have reached the point of diminishing returns. The last thing I want to do is bore anybody. So … Lemme try to wrap up today with a quick “lessons learned” post. Aside from the acknowledgment that EVERY WRITER…

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Report from the Trenches #7

By Steven Pressfield | 13 Comments

  I said in last week’s post that, watching myself wrestle with this rewrite, I realize I’m attacking the problem on three levels. Level One (which we talked about last week) was about genre—making sure I knew what genre I was working in, and then re-hammering the narrative so that it lined up with the conventions and obligatory scenes of that genre. The second level of this work, what we’re gonna talk about today, is going back in the global sense to Basic Storytelling Principles. Specifically: A story must be about something. It must have a theme. The hero embodies…

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Report from the Trenches #6

By Steven Pressfield | 20 Comments

  First lemme say thanks to everyone who is following this series. Believe me, writing these posts is helping me as much or more than it’s helping you. This new book is my nineteenth, I think. I’ve gone through this same hellish, tear-it-down-and-start-all-over-again process on almost every prior book, but I’ve never really paid attention to what I was doing. I just put my head down and ground it out. Having to write these posts has made me play witness to my own process. It helps. I never really knew what I was doing. Okay. Where do we stand today?…

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Report from the Trenches, #4

By Steven Pressfield | 23 Comments

  What exactly am I doing as I reconceive/reconstruct/rewrite a project that I’m already eighteen months into, based on some pretty stark “do it over” notes from Shawn? I mean, what specifically? What’s the process? What am I actually doing? Answer: I’m doing what I should have done the first time. I’m doing what I’ve told myself to do a hundred times but somehow didn’t do. I failed to do these things because I was Lazy Scared Because I didn’t think hard enough and didn’t push myself deep enough. Is this sort of thing new to me? No. When I…

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Report from the Trenches, #3

By Steven Pressfield | 22 Comments

  The last two weeks’ posts have gotten a lot of positive response, so apparently they have struck a nerve. I confess though, as I sit down to write today’s Report #3, that I’m not really sure exactly WHAT is proving so helpful. Obviously I want to stay in that vein. So, spitballing a bit, here goes … The specific question readers might be asking right about now is, What exactly did Shawn’s notes say? And, How exactly did you, Steve, respond? The bulk of Shawn’s problem with the manuscript I gave him was that I had violated conventions of…

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Report from the Trenches, #1

By Steven Pressfield | 158 Comments

  I’m gonna take a break in this series on Villains and instead open up my skull and share what’s going on in my own work right now. It ain’t pretty. I’m offering this post in the hope that an account of my specific struggles at this moment will be helpful to other writers and artists who are dealing with the same mishegoss, i.e. craziness, or have in the past, or will in the future. Here’s the story: Eighteen months ago I had an idea for a new fiction piece. I did what I always do at such moments: I…

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“Trenches #1,” Redux

By Steven Pressfield | 34 Comments

[Not sure why, but my instinct tells me to re-run this post (the first in our “Reports from the Trenches” series) today, rather than posting a new one. Sometimes things need to be seen twice. I think this might be one of those times. So … here goes, in its entirety:] I’m gonna take a break in this series on Villains and instead open up my skull and share what’s going on in my own work right now. It ain’t pretty. I’m offering this post in the hope that an account of my specific struggles at this moment will be…

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A Tale from the Trenches

By Steven Pressfield | 14 Comments

Todd Henry is a friend. He started in the creative/entrepreneurial field in 1995 with a tour of duty in the music biz, working as a marketer, writer and creative director. By 2005 he had launched his own company, Accidental Creative, working independently with creative people and teams. By then he had evolved his own unique philosophy (several of whose precepts I borrowed and use myself), which he pulled together last year into his first book, The Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant At a Moment’s Notice, which is terrific and which will be published tomorrow.  Todd and I sat down a…

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A Report from embedded journalist Andrew Lubin

By Steven Pressfield | 14 Comments

[We’ll be hearing again from Maj. Jim Gant in three weeks, but for this Monday and the next, I’m very pleased and honored to feature a “report from the trenches” from independent foreign correspondent Andrew Lubin, who has just returned from six weeks in Afghanistan where he was embedded with Army and Marine troops. Mr. Lubin’s son Phil is a Marine artilleryman; Andy loves the troops; nothing gives him greater pleasure than to get out there in the tall cane with young Marines and soldiers and come back with the straight, unfiltered scoop. This recent trip is his 10th to Iraq,…

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It Ain’t Pretty

By Steven Pressfield | 17 Comments

About a year ago I wrote a series of posts titled “Report From the Trenches.” They were about a particularly ugly run of months when I was struggling to make a book-in-progress work. The good news is that in the end (I think) the process succeeded. The bad news is I’m back in that same place on the next book. I never learn. I forget each time how back-breaking it was the time before. One of my favorite movies of the past few years is Margin Call, written and directed by J.C. Chandor. It’s roughly about the market crash of 2008,…

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