Steven Pressfield Blog

Elevating the Threshold of Panic

Picking up from last week’s post in our series on Fighter Pilot Wisdom, here’s more from fighter ace Ran Ronen:

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The Mission like a movie

Continuing our series on Fighter Pilot Wisdom, here is Ran Ronen, one of the most celebrated combat fliers and commanders (he died in 2016 as a retired brigadier general) in the history of the Israel Air Force.

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“Dvekut baMesima”

When I was doing research in Israel for The Lion’s Gate, I spent hours and hours interviewing fighter pilots. I had never known any before; I had no conception of their unique and super-specific mindset, the way they were trained to think and to prepare for life-and-death missions in the sky. I was amazed. I found these airmen’s way of thinking not only fascinating but extremely applicable to the way you and I work as writers and artists.

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Write the Big Moment Big

I have a friend who runs a successful literary agency in Los Angeles. She represents screenwriters. I asked her once, “Is there any single mistake your writers make, not in business or marketing, but in the writing itself?”

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Coco Chanel’s advice for writers

Coco Chanel was asked once, “What’s the single piece of fashion advice you would give to ladies (and gentlemen)?”

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Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be, #2

My friend Frank Oz has a term for this. He calls it “going the distance.” 

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Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be, #1

Let’s start with the most obvious interpretation of this axiom. (We’ll go deeper in succeeding weeks.)

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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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A Man At Arms is on sale!

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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.

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.