Steven Pressfield Blog

The Villain and the Shadow

“Shadow” is a term used most commonly in Jungian therapy and inner work. It means that part of our psyche that we have repressed, usually out of shame and the refusal to admit that such elements (the regret that we had children, say, or the rage we carry against “good” or honorable entities) are part…

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Do This Every Day

It was 1990-something. I was working in a small mom-and-pop publishing house just down I95 from Health Communications, the publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul. My boss wanted a series just like that.

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Introducing Shane

  I love the movie Shane. In my opinion it’s the greatest Western ever, surpassing even The Searchers and The Wild Bunch and High Noon, not to mention Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Unforgiven. I’m aware that many reading this post have not seen Shane, or may not have even heard of it.…

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Glove Before Stick

From the archives, via September 16, 2011. Fifteen years ago, I worked at St. Martin’s Press. It was (and still is) one of the big six publishing players. If ever there is a sitcom about book publishing, it should be set in the 1990s at St. Martin’s Press. What a cast of characters… Anyway, the…

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The Villain Adapts, but Does Not Change

  Consider the Alien. It adapts but does not change. It starts out (I’m thinking of the 1979 Alien, directed by Ridley Scott) as an egg. OMG, it springs onto the visor of Kane’s (John Hurt) space helmet! Wait … now it’s an ugly, tentacled blob attached to his face. Hold on—it just leapt out…

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Art and Polarity

From the archives, via June 20, 2012. The other day I overhead this conversation: Man #1: “I ran into Frank Smith (not his real name) at the beach yesterday…” Man #2: “Isn’t that the guy who cheated on his wife, got a DWI, and said all of those nasty things about Jill’s daughter in law?”…

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Kurosawa on Villains

  We were talking last week about how the villain never changes. The hero does. But never the Bad Guy. Here’s Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat, The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist, not to mention Raiders of the Lost Ark, Return of the Jedi, etc.) quoted in a 1991 article in the L.A. Times: “(Akira) Kurosawa,…

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Brian Wilson, Warren Buffett, Albert Einstein, and Ruth Stone

From the archives, via May 5, 2017. In the documentary Beach Boys: The Making of Pet Sounds, Al Jardine said Brian Wilson “sees things I don’t think the rest of us see and hears things, certainly, that we don’t hear. He has a special receiver going on in there, in his brain.” What is that special,…

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The Villain Doesn’t Change

  The craziest working arrangement I ever had in the screenwriting biz was when I worked for a producer I’ll call Joan Stark. Joan insisted that I write in her office. I had to come in every day. Joan gave me a little cubbyhole beside the photocopy machine. I’d work on pages all morning and…

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A Correction: Nothing Always Works With Everyone

Last Friday I wrote that the list of things below always work. Hard work has always worked. Being honest has always worked. Doing the right thing has always worked. Keeping promises has always worked. Being transparent has always worked. Creating something of value has always worked. Starting small has always worked. Communicating in more than…

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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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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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Read this one first.
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Start here.
Everything else proceeds from this.



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?"



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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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.


A one-day event with Steve talking about Resistence, inspiration, and how to win the War of Art.