Steven Pressfield Blog

What is “Real?”

A writer (or a singer or dancer or songwriter or filmmaker) searches for his or her voice. Hemingway. Quentin Tarantino. Beyonce. But what is voice? And what makes it “real?”

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The River

The passage that follows is from a book I’m working on right now. I’m not sure the passage works for a Writing Wednesdays post, but what the hell, I like it and my instinct tells me to put it out there.

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The Willing Embrace of Chaos

What is the first virtue of the artist? It is—and must be—an awareness of and acceptance of the primary reality of the field upon which she will work.

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“You have to be a studio”

I was doing a free rewrite a few years ago on the lot at Paramount when a producer friend spotted me on the bungalow’s porch and plopped down in the chair beside me. She asked me what I was working on beside this freebie. 

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Working for the Man

Question: what will you and I do differently when we exit the ranks of the officially employed and set out on our own as artists or entrepreneurs?

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The Code of the Entrepreneur

I’m borrowing (again) from my entrepreneurship guru, Dan Sullivan. Dan identifies a statement that every entrepreneur makes to him or herself—whether she does this consciously or not. It’s the entrepreneur’s code, the independent businessperson’s declaration of principle:

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Going to the Gym in the Dark

It’s five in the morning and we’re on our way to the gym. This happens six days a week, rain or shine, Christmas, Fourth of July, your birthday. I hate it. Everybody does. We’d all rather be home in bed catching those lazybones Z’s. Why do it then? For me, it’s not because I imagine I’m going to be the next Mr. Universe. 

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The Muse tests us

The goddess tests you and me 24/7. She flies over and peers down on us. What she wants to see is that we are dedicated to the journey, to the process, that we are in it for the long haul and for keeps.

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Write the Big Moment Big

[In honor of The Godfather’s 50th anniversary, here’s one of my favorite Top Ten posts of the past.]

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Tom Guinzburg saves my life

When I first submitted my manuscript for Gates of Fire, it was eight hundred pages long. It was as big as a Manhattan phone book. My agent, Sterling Lord, told me flat out, “Steve, I can’t sell this. You have to cut three hundred pages.”

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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.