Steven Pressfield Blog

The Artist’s Journey, #15

Here in our fifteenth week of this serialization of The Artist’s Journey, we’re finally getting into my favorite part—the airy-fairy part. I can make no scientific claim to anything put forward in “Book Six  The Artist and the Unconscious.” It’s all personal and idiosyncratic, just stuff that I believe is true (though I can’t prove it) from my own experience. From this point to the end of the book, that’s what’s coming. To catch up on any prior posts, click these links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8. Part 9. Part 10. Part 11. Part…

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Thank You Mr. Walsh

One of the best friends I’ve ever had lost his father this month. Death proved itself a slingshot, pulling me back through the decades to think about the few times I met his father and then catapulting me forward to question what I’m doing today. Jay and I met at Emerson College. I was climbing the stairs in front of him and tripped. He laughed at me. For a split second I thought he was an asshole—and then realized that I would have laughed at me, too. The friendship started there. Lots of talking and philosophizing and listening to Dave…

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The Artist’s Journey, #14

Continuing this serialization of The Artist’s Journey. For the past few weeks we’ve been talking about the professional skills the writer, the painter, the actor, the filmmaker develop on her journey. Pretty soon we’ll be getting into my favorite part, the deep stuff, the crazy stuff, the stuff you can’t prove but that you know is true. If you’ve missed any of the prior posts in this series, catch up here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8. Part 9. Part 10. Part 11. Part 12. Part 13.   62. THE ARTIST LEARNS HOW TO HANDLE…

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How Literary Agents Target Acquisitions Editors

To follow up from the last post from www.storygrid.com, here is a description of how literary agents think about who to send a particular project at a particular publishing house… So a good agent understands how editors think…specifically, how they sort submissions.

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The Artist’s Journey, #13

We’re now well past halfway in The Artist’s Journey. The finished book (which Shawn and I have been putting together over the past month) has altered quite a bit from this serialization. Shawn found some chapters in a file that we’d been working on, preparing for a live seminar. Those went into the book. He tweaked and added other stuff and reordered a bunch of chapters. And as always, he took my eight “acts” and consolidated them into three. Why didn’t I think of that? If you’ve missed any of the prior posts, you can catch up here: Part 1, Part…

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Mistakes are Opportunities

I made a mistake this week. I was introduced to a few dozen new people. I attempted to correct the mistake. I was introduced to more new people.

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The Artist’s Journey, #12

I’ve spent part of the past couple of weeks recording the audio version of The Artist’s Journey, as well as copy-editing the eBook and the paperback. Sometime in July, we’ll have all of them ready to go. As Black Irish Books we can’t compete with Amazon or B&N on shipping prices but one thing we can do is offer discounts on bundles (paperback, eBook, and audiobook together at one low price) and on bulk purchases (55% discount on orders of 10+ copies of the same book). We will do the same for The Artist’s Journey. And now back to the ongoing…

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How Acquisitions Editors Think

Here is an oldie but goodie from the www.storygrid.com archives.  There are many reasons the system is the way it is and you need to know just how difficult it is for acquisitions editors to balance their love of the art and the necessity of feeding the machine. Here is how editors think about and sort projects:

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The Artist’s Journey, #11

Welcome to the continuation of our serialization of The Artist’s Journey. To revisit any of the previous chapters, click on these links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8. Part 9. Part 10.   47. EACH TRIP FROM LEVEL #1 TO LEVEL #2 IS A HERO’S JOURNEY  We said a few chapters ago that the artist’s skill is to shuttle from the material sphere to the sphere of potentiality and back again. Each one of those trips is a hero’s journey. Jay-Z in his studio may complete ten thousand hero’s journeys a day. You…

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Secrets of the Creative Brain

In this week’s “Writing Wednesdays” post (“The Artist’s Journey, #10“), Steve discussed the two worlds in which artists reside, and how artists break through from one world to the other to access ideas and inspiration. But . . . How does that happen?

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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.

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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?"

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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.

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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.