Steven Pressfield Blog

Wisdom from “The Simpsons”

The following gem comes from John Swartzwelder, “the sage of The Simpsons,” courtesy of my friend Charlie Daly who turned me on to the May 2, 2021 New Yorker interview by Mike Sacks from which this comes:

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Why “invoke?”

I remember studying about papal indulgences in Comparative Religion in college. These were documents that the wealthy could purchase from the Church that would guarantee them entrance into heaven, even if their worldly sins had banished them to the back of the line.

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Do you believe in the gods?

Let’s get back today to our subject from a few weeks ago—the Muse.

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The Understory in “Lawrence of Arabia”

What is Lawrence of Arabia REALLY about? And how does this deeper story inform and shape the surface drama of the film? 

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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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A Man At Arms is now available to order!

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

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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.

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.