Writing Wednesdays

What’s the In? What’s the Out?

By Steven Pressfield | 12 Comments

  In the movie biz, there’s a question that studios and development companies often put to any screenplay they’re evaluating: What’s the in? What’s the out? What they mean is, “What is this script’s opening image and closing image? Do the two work together? Are they cohesive? Are they on-theme? Are they are far apart emotionally as possible?” This is a really helpful series of questions for any creative person who’s trying to evaluate his or her own work. I use it all the time. What’s the in? What’s the out? These questions help if you’re designing a restaurant, writing…

Read More

The Artist’s Journey in the Real World

By Steven Pressfield | 30 Comments

  I described in The War of Art the moment when my own artist’s journey began. It was in New York City. I was supporting myself driving a cab. I sat down one night in my sublet at 84th and York and tried for about two hours to write. It worked. For the first time in nearly a decade of trying, the act pulled me together instead of breaking me apart. I knew I had turned a corner. I knew I would be all right. But here’s the key question:               What happened after that?   Did I immediately achieve…

Read More

Steven Soderbergh and the Artist’s Journey

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

In 2007, Steven Soderbergh won the Academy Award as Best Director for Traffic. I remember his acceptance speech almost word for word. Here’s the link to the video. (It’s better to watch it than to read it [even better to do both] because he delivered his message in such a humble and heartfelt manner): Suddenly, going to work tomorrow doesn’t seem like such a good idea. My daughter Sarah’s asleep in London. She’s missing this, unfortunately. There are a lot of people to thank. Rather than thank some of them publicly, I think I’ll thank all of them privately. What I…

Read More

The Prodigal Son and The Artist’s Journey

By Steven Pressfield | 17 Comments

I remember when I was a kid reading the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son. I never really got the point of it. I found myself siding with the elder son. “Hey, Dad, what’s the story? My younger brother takes his inheritance early and bolts from the farm. He swaggers into the big city, blows every penny on gambling and fast living and then comes crawling home begging for forgiveness. The kid’s a bum! Yet here you are, Pop, breaking out the fatted calf and rejoicing at your wayward child’s return, when I, the Responsible One, have been here all…

Read More

Good Will Hunting and the Artist’s Journey

By Steven Pressfield | 16 Comments

First, let me say thanks to everybody who stuck with these blog posts through the serialization of The Artist’s Journey. And a special thanks to everybody who actually ordered the book. I hope it’s helpful. But let’s get to Good Will Hunting. I watched the movie for probably the tenth time on TV a few nights ago. I thought, Wow, this is the Hero’s Journey/Artist’s Journey exactly. Do you remember the movie? (It came out in 1997 and launched Matt Damon’s and Ben Affleck’s careers. As co-writers they won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay that year.) Here’s a quick…

Read More

The Artist’s Journey, #22

By Steven Pressfield | 29 Comments

Today is the final installment of The Artist’s Journey. Thanks again to everyone who stayed with us from the start. The book officially goes on sale today in all three formats—audiobook (read by me), eBook, and paperback. You can get the paperback from Amazon or other online booksellers. The ebook and audio are on sale now (in bundled version as well) at www.blackirishbooks.com. As I said a few episodes ago, the publication book is a bit different from this serialized version. Shawn came in and made it better. P.S. Are we crazy to serialize this book for free and then put…

Read More

The Artist’s Journey, #21

By Steven Pressfield | 20 Comments

We’re down now to the next-to-last installment of The Artist’s Journey. It’s getting heavy, I know. Stick with me. To catch up on any missed chapters, click here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8. Part 9. Part 10.Part 11. Part 12. Part 13. Part 14. Part 15. Part 16.Part 17. Part 18. Part 19. Part 20. P.S. Happy Fourth of July! 99. THE FALL OF MAN The following is from Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy: In the Hebrew-Christian tradition the Fall is subsequent to creation and is due exclusively to the egocentric use of a…

Read More

The Artist’s Journey, #20

By Steven Pressfield | 15 Comments

Only three more posts (including today’s) and this serialization of The Artist’s Journey will be complete. Thanks, everybody, for hanging in. I promise to get back to “regular” posts right away. One last peep re Tim Grahl of www.booklaunch.com, whom I’ve been telling you about for the past couple of weeks. Tim, remember, reached out to Shawn out of the blue, saying, “If you’ll help me organize and shape my novel (that I haven’t written yet), I’ll help you with your marketing.” What happened to that novel? It’s proceeding furiously apace under Shawn’s guidance. In the meantime Tim wrote a…

Read More

The Artist’s Journey, #19

By Steven Pressfield | 20 Comments

Last week I introduced Tim Grahl, the founder of booklaunch.com, who reached out to Shawn (whom he had never met) and asked for Shawn’s help as an editor, to mentor Tim in writing his first novel. If we look at this moment through the prism of the past eighteen weeks’ posts, we would say that Tim had reached the end of his Hero’s Journey. The act of reaching out to Shawn was the start of his Artist’s Journey. Tim was declaring, whether he thought of it in these terms or not, “I am a writer. I don’t care if I’ve…

Read More

The Artist’s Journey, #18

By Steven Pressfield | 11 Comments

There’s a guy named Tim Grahl. A real guy. A really good guy. He has a site called booklaunch.com, which is one of the best, if not the best, instructional site for writers at all levels who want to get their stuff out there in the most effective and high-exposure way. I’m a subscriber. The site is great. But Tim didn’t want to just help writers. He wanted to be a writer. He wanted to tell stories. He phoned Shawn and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: “If you’ll work with me as an editor and help me write…

Read More


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.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.