Steven Pressfield Blog

“DVEKUT BA MESIMA”

The following passage is from Lieutenant Giora Romm, the first fighter-pilot ace [shooting down five enemy planes] of the Israel Air Force:

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Keep Working

The great thing about working as a writer (as opposed to being, say, an actor) is you only need a pencil and a piece of paper to work. Nobody can stop you from writing a novel. No one can stop you from banging out a screenplay. Maybe you’re not being paid, maybe nobody knows who you are, maybe no one will ever read, let alone publish or produce your book or movie. But you can KEEP WORKING entirely on your own. I have a closet in my office. In it are thirty-seven screenplays. Seven of them actually brought in money,…

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The Villain Believes in the Mean Streets

[Continuing our series on Bad Guys in film and fiction … ] The villain believes in a world of scarce resources and a competition of all against all. As the villain sees it, the human race inhabits a post-Edenic cosmos, i.e. a universe in which all of us have been kicked out of the Garden (where our needs were provided for in abundance) and are condemned for ever after to scuffle for a living out here on the mean streets. Or, as the tribesmen of Pashtunistan might phrase it, I against my brother; my brother and I against our cousin;…

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The Female in “Lawrence of Arabia”

With the exception of a few long-distance glimpses of tribal Arab wives and mothers ululating in valediction as their husbands and sons ride off to war (and a quick peek or two at be-jeweled feminine hands extending from beneath side-curtains in camel-borne covered conveyances), there are no female characters in Lawrence of Arabia. Or are there? I would make the case that the female in Lawrence is the desert. As we wrote in an earlier “Female Carries the Mystery” post: The desert is remote and mysterious. It is timeless, eternal. In the world of the Bedouin the desert is the…

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Getting Ready for Tomorrow

  The last thing I do before closing my eyes to sleep is to mentally prepare myself for the fight tomorrow. How easy it is, congratulating yourself after a productive today, to talk yourself into slacking off tomorrow. The first post in this series was titled RESISTANCE WAKES UP WITH ME. It does, and I know it. Resistance will hit me tomorrow morning before I even open my eyes. It will try to turn my success today into failure tomorrow. Resistance will try to convince me I can relax, ease up. “You put a good day in the bank today. Enjoy…

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How the Spartans Would Fight COVID-19

A (true) question from antiquity:

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One Word and Done

I did an Instagram “live” a few days ago with the thriller writer Jack Carr. Do you know him? He’s a former Navy SEAL sniper and task force commander, who is a natural-born teller of ripping yarns that grow out of his own experience in the hot political and military spots around the globe.

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The Goddess Visits at Night

I’m not joking when I say I do some of my best work in bed. In the middle of the night. Something about that twilight stage of consciousness when we’re not awake but not asleep either. Why do ideas come to us in the shower, or where we’re shaving or driving on the freeway and hanging onto a strap in the subway? Those too are twilight states. They are “gateway stages” when the membrane is down and insights can bubble up from the Muse’s secret sanctuary. The ego, I believe, is the generator of Resistance. So when the ego is…

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Churchill’s “K.B.O.” (Or something like that.)

There’s a skill that you and I as long-form writers have had to develop that will serve us (and everyone else) very well in this “time of cholera.” I’m not sure this virtue even has a name.

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2020 MASTERMIND

Join Steven Pressfield's Mastermind and join him for a monthly live Q&A and get access to 12 new titles.

FREE MINI COURSE

Start with this War of Art [27-minute] mini-course. It's free. The course's five audio lessons will ground you in the principles and characteristics of the artist's inner battle.

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do the work book banner 1

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.

noboybookcover

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.

The-War-of-Art

THE WAR OF ART

Read this one first.
It identifies the enemy—what I call Resistance with a capital “R,” i.e. fear, self-doubt, procrastination, perfectionism, all the forms of self-sabotage—that stop us from doing our work and realizing our dreams.
Start here.
Everything else proceeds from this.

Turning-Pro

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?"

The-Authentic-Swing

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.

do the work book banner 1

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.