Steven Pressfield

Second Act Problems

By Steven Pressfield | 29 Comments

I’m reading a terrific book by David Mamet called Three Uses of the Knife. It’s not a play or a novel, it’s a treatise on the subject of drama. There’s some great stuff in it, particularly in the section Mamet calls “Second Act Problems,” that we as writers, artists, entrepreneurs (and just plain human beings) can profit from. All writers know: Act One is easy. You come up with some crazy idea and heave it against the wall. Act Three isn’t that hard either. We’ve figured out where we’re going; we just tromp on the accelerator and go there. Ah,…

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Downrange: An Informal Report on a trip to Afghanistan with Marine Gen. James N. Mattis

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

Part One of Four 1. Jim Mattis is a four-star Marine general. He doesn’t go out of his way to be quotable; he just can’t help himself.  Here, from Iraq 2004, are his instructions to the Marines under his command on how to conduct themselves with the natives they will encounter. Be polite.  Be professional.  But have a plan to kill everyone you meet. In the first battle of Fallouja, Gen. Mattis commanded the Marines assigned to take the city. There came a point during the fighting when Mattis had to negotiate with the Sunni sheikhs and Baathist ex-army officers…

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Robert McKee's "StoryLogue": A New Resource for Writers

By Steven Pressfield | 2 Comments

Full disclosure: Bob McKee and I are good friends (and his video interview with me is part of the package I’m about to tell you about.) So be aware please, the following does NOT pretend to be impartial or objective.

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What's Next?

By Steven Pressfield | 4 Comments

Have you read about the Slow-Word Movement? I was thinking about it long before I knew there was a name defining it, much less a movement behind it. Formulating ideas, researching, writing, posting to the blog, Twitter and Facebook, and replying to comments left on the blog, Twitter and Facebook, takes time—as does the day-to-day stuff we all face, such as cleaning, maintaining our homes, and nurturing our relationships with our friends, family, and colleagues—oh, and there’s work, too. . . . This all takes time, and in an effort to keep on top of the blogging, posting, and updating,…

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Happy Christmas/Hannukah/New Year!

By Steven Pressfield | 5 Comments

My wish is that our readers are taking this season off, just like I am.  I do want to take this moment, though, to say special thanks to the friends and partners who helped get this blog off the ground six months ago and whose hard work has kept it aloft ever since.

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Sticking Points

By Steven Pressfield | 7 Comments

Have you ever hit the wall? I have. Over and over. On any project–I don’t care how dazzlingly it starts out–inevitably the truck runs into a lake of goo. Here’s what I’ve learned about sticking points.

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Guest Blog by Andrew Lubin: Let the Afghan Army Fight

By Steven Pressfield | 9 Comments

[Again, we’re pleased to have this fresh post from independent correspondent Andrew Lubin, who has just returned from six weeks in Afghanistan, where he was embedded with Army and Marine troops and spent time with their Afghan National Army counterparts. Here’s Part Two of Prof. Lubin’s report.]

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Giving It Away

By Steven Pressfield | 29 Comments

I know Giving It Away is supposed to work as a web marketing strategy, bringing in new customers. (Like when rock bands offer free downloads of their songs and the new listeners then go out and buy the group’s CDs or attend their concerts.) I’ve tried this. I must confess that so far the only part I’ve mastered is giving it away. But there’s one gentleman who really knows how to do this crazy new thing and actually make it work.

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Having A Practice

By Steven Pressfield | 12 Comments

Last Wednesday I wrote a post called “Self-Doubt.” It shared a rough patch I was going through on the book I’m working on now. I put it out there because I wanted other writers and artists (who know this already but perhaps needed a little reminder, as I do) to remember that they aren’t alone when they themselves struggle with this demon. People wrote in. I want to say thanks to all of them, to those friends and trench-mates who said thanks and who offered me encouragement. I appreciate it. It meant a lot to me.

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Self-Doubt

By Steven Pressfield | 28 Comments

True confessions: I’m 95% through a project I’ve been working on for two years, and I find myself suddenly wracked with self-doubt. All the negative thoughts that we’re all so familiar with are surfacing. Have I screwed the pooch? Have I lost my mojo? Do I really have anything worth saying? I know the tune. The question is: What do I do about it?

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