The Creative Process

Scott Oden

By Steven Pressfield | 4 Comments

Hailing from the hills of rural North Alabama, Scott Oden’s fascination with far-off places began when his oldest brother introduced him to the staggering and savage vistas of Robert E. Howard and Harold Lamb. Though Oden started writing his own tales at the age of fourteen, it would be many years before anything would come of it. In the meantime, he had a brief and tempestuous fling with academia before retiring to the private sector, where he worked the usual roster of odd jobs—from delivering pizza to stacking paper in the bindery of a printing company to clerking at a video…

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Sean Van Vleet

By Steven Pressfield | 19 Comments

Sean Van Vleet is a Chicago-based musician, songwriter, and lead singer of the alternative-rock band Empires. In March, Empires released their highly-anticipated sophomore effort Bang and have spent much of 2010 on the road in support of the release, with stops at SXSW, Verve Music Festival, and CMJ Music Fest. MTV.com called the album “great, all ethereal and doomy like the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or the Black Angels, but with a little bit of My Chemical Romance snarl thrown in for good measure.” Alternative Press said the band has “set about doing this right. It’s a sentiment reinforced by these…

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Jeff Lipsky

By Callie Oettinger | 1 Comment

Jeff Lipsky is the writer and director of the films Childhood’s End (co-starring Tony Award nominee Sam Trammell), Flannel Pajamas (about which Roger Ebert wrote: “One of the wisest films I can remember about love and human intimacy. I will not forget it.”), and Twelve Thirty (Jan. 2011 theatrical release, starring Jonathan Groff, Mamie Gummer, Portia Reiners, Reed Birney and Karen Young), and the director of Once More With Feeling (co-starring Chazz Palminteri, Drea de Matteo and Linda Fiorentino). He co-founded the film distribution companies October Films and Lot 47 films, and has shepherded over 200 films to market, including…

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Michael Bungay Stanier

By Callie Oettinger | 5 Comments

Michael Bungay Stanier does Great—Important—Work. His bio says that he’s the Senior Partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations and the people in them do less Good Work and more Great Work. It should also say that he’s one of those wonderful people with a gift for telling it how it is, in just the right, positive way. His most-recent book is Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork and Start the Work that Matters. You can pillage the free chapters, courses, interviews and other resources at Do More Great Work. Check out all the short movies…

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Chris Guillebeau

By Callie Oettinger | 5 Comments

Chris Guillebeau travels and writes for a small army of remarkable people at chrisguillebeau.com and twitter.com/chrisguillebeau. When you visit his blog, check out his 279 Days to Overnight Success and his Brief Guide to World Domination. Good stuff! His book, The Art of Non-Conformity, will be available online and in bookstores starting Sept. 7, 2010. In The Art of Non-Conformity you talk about your one-time job “slinging boxes” at FedEx at 3 AM in the morning. How did you go from there to developing a business and then being a volunteer working with refugees, warlords and presidents in West Africa?

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Erik Proulx

By Callie Oettinger | 4 Comments

The film “Lemonade” was my introduction to Erik Proulx. It is inspiring, uplifting, motivating—all the good stuff—and is a strong reminder of our abilities to reinvent ourselves—hard-charge our dreams, at any moment. A 15-year veteran of the advertising industry, Erik created commercials for brands like Volvo, Fidelity Investments, GMC Trucks, and Perdue Chicken. Then, two days after being offered a raise and a promotion, his agency laid him off without ceremony. He responded by creating “Lemonade” and the blog Please Feed The Animals. His experience, combined with the collective experience of the hundreds of people he’s interviewed for Lemonade (the…

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Geoffrey C. Ward

By Callie Oettinger | 3 Comments

Geoffrey C. Ward is an historian, screenwriter, author and former editor of American Heritage magazine. He has collaborated with Ken Burns and other film-makers, on numerous documentaries, including The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, and The War, and is the winner of six Emmy Awards, seven Christopher Awards, and two Writers Guild of America awards for his work for public television. He has written fifteen books . His A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt won the 1989 National Critics Circle Award, the 1990 Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. What…

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Sebastian Junger

By Steven Pressfield | 4 Comments

Sebastian Junger is the author of The Perfect Storm, which spent over three years on the New York Times bestsellers list—and was the basis for the motion picture starring George Clooney. He also is the author of New York Times bestsellers Fire, and A Death in Belmont, is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism. His most recent book, WAR, a New York Times bestseller that follows a single platoon based at a remote outpost in the Korengal Valley of eastern Afghanistan, was released in May 2010.…

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General Hal Moore

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

I met General Hal Moore a few years ago, at a dinner in his honor in Los Angeles, around the time the movie We Were Soldiers was released. Both Joe Galloway and General Moore signed a copy of their book We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young for me. General Moore added a note, citing a quote from my book, Gates of Fire, which he said reminded him of LZ X-Ray and his warriors in that fight. It was the quote about “Any army can win when it still has its legs under it; what counts is what…

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General Sam V. Wilson

By Steven Pressfield | 37 Comments

I’m in awe of everything General Sam Wilson has done. His is a name that everyone should know. He’s accomplished more in his lifetime than many of us dare to dream about. He served as a reconnaissance officer with Merrill’s Marauders in Burma, during WWII; as a CIA spy-ring operator in Berlin, uncovering Soviet secrets; as a director of instruction at the U.S. Army Special Warfare School; as a civilian working with USAID in Vietnam and then in the personal rank of minister at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon; and then back in the military, as a Special Forces Group…

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