Steven Pressfield Blog

The Understory

We were talking last week about Steve Jobs’ two questions to his peeps at Apple. First question: “What business are we in?” Second: “What business are we REALLY in?”

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What Business Are We In?

I heard a story about Steve Jobs. They say he used to roam the campus at Apple sometimes, poking his head into random offices and cubicles. He’d ask people, “What business are we in?” and listen attentively to whatever answer he got.

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Recommended by Mister H.

We spoke last week about the Invocation of the Muse from Homer’s Odyssey [translation by T.E. Lawrence] … and the tattered copy of that prayer that I still have (and still recite each morning) from my dear friend and mentor, Paul Rink.

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A Prayer to the Muse

I wrote in The War of Art about my old friend and mentor, Paul Rink. When I lived in Northern California years ago, I used to have coffee every morning with Paul in his camper, “Moby Dick.”

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Francis Ford Coppola on Re-writing

I was having breakfast the other morning with D.B. Sweeney, the actor/writer/producer. He told me a story about working with Francis Ford Coppola that was funny and charming and loaded with writing wisdom.

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Be a Pro for one hour

When I used to work a forty-hour-a-week job and could only write in my spare time, I often thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could write full-time … instead of squeezing in an hour here and an hour there?”

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It Ain’t Stealing if it Twists

We’ve been examining over the past few posts how the disparate story elements came together into the finished product that became A Man at Arms. Last week we talked about a “Vulnerable Character”— specifically the mute, feral young girl, Ruth—and how she proved to be the emotional heart of the story.

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A Vulnerable Character

We were talking in last week’s post about A Man at Arms falling into the “Western” genre, even though the book is set in the ancient world—much as many samurai movies are Westerns, as well as post-apocalyptic tales (Mad Max, The Book of Eli), mutant tales, and even, in my opinion, John Wick movies.

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“A Man at Arms” as a Western

We’ve been talking in the past few posts about the evolution of A Man at Arms from its shaky, unclear inception—and how one narrative element led to another until we had a fully-formed, living and breathing story.

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The Hero in “A Man at Arms”

In our previous two posts, we examined several embryonic elements as they came together at the inception of an idea for a novel. 

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A Man At Arms is now available to order!

Don't miss out on exclusive bonuses available to early buyers!

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.