Steven Pressfield Blog

First Things First

A jab is a quick, sharp punch. It’s the setup for other punches—that seemingly small thing that serves you well in the ring. “It is their most important weapon. Fighters throughout time have spilled blood and sweat attempting to perfect it—to make it fast, to make it sharp, Every punch, heavier than the last.

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Welcome, JABs Subscribers!

Thanks and welcome to everybody who leapt off the cliff with us and signed up to receive a year’s worth of Black Irish JABs. The response has been beyond our hopes. Thank you! To anyone still teetering on the fence, lemme take today’s post to give you the old-fashioned hard sell. (Then I’ll stop, I…

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Print on Demand Wins

Steve announced the release of Black Irish Books’ first subscription-based product earlier this week. Fitting in with Black Irish’s boxing glove logo, the subscription features “JABs” from Steve—mini-books that pack a punch—starting with two books from Steve this month, and then one a month starting in February.

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Introducing Black Irish JABs

For those who can’t wait, here’s the link to get the full story. (Oh, and before I forget, there’s a great Black Irish baseball cap that comes along with the JABs.) But let’s back up first to say what Black Irish JABs are, and how you can use them. How do you learn to write?…

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Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose and Sometimes it Rains

From the Archives, via May 10, 2013. The story of David and Goliath is one of history’s greatest reruns—played out on repeat in books and boardrooms and battlefields. Big Guy goes after Little Guy. Little Guy finds inner strength. Little Guy taps into inner strength. Little Guy fights Big Guy. Big Guy falters. Little Guy…

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Don’t You Hate It When …

Don’t you hate it when sites or stores do “teasers?” I do. They tell you that “something” is coming [maybe they even give you a sneak peek], trying to snag your interest and gin up your anticipation. But then they leave you hanging and don’t tell you what that “something” actually is. I hate that.…

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On Gratitude

I spent the last month writing hundreds of thank you notes. My son asked why I didn’t have them printed, since the message is the same in each card. It’s the time and the action and the intention.

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Reinforcement and Self-Reinforcement

Let me start with an overstatement: For writers and artists, the ability to self-reinforce is more important than talent. What exactly is reinforcement? It’s when your coach or your mentor or your spouse tugs you aside and tells you how well you are doing, and how proud of you they are, and how certain ultimate…

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Focus on the Person, Not the Product

From the Archives, via Sept. 23, 2014. Flannery O’Connor hooked my interest through a school-assigned reading of A Good Man is Hard to Find and her personal story kept me reading more. I was certain that a bit of that geranium she wrote about—“with its roots in the air”—was her, a transplant to New York…

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A Map of the Unknown World

I’m reading a wonderful book (thanks, Bill Wickman, for turning me onto it) called Bugles and a Tiger, My Life in the Ghurkas by John Masters. This is the kind of book I absolutely devour—a straight-ahead memoir, no plot, no characters, just an absolutely true account of a fascinating life experience, in this case the…

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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

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.

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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.

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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.