Writing Wednesdays

The Artist’s Journey, #6

By Steven Pressfield | 16 Comments

Continuing our serialization of The Artist’s Journey … to refresh our memory, the primary thesis of this book is that our evolution as writers and artists hits an inflection point on that day when we realize that our Searching Years are over, our questing dues have been paid (in other words, our “hero’s journey” has reached its completion), and we must now advance into a second journey, in which for the first time we with full awareness and seriousness embrace our calling as artists. At that point, we “turn pro” and start asking the questions all artists must ask of…

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The Artist’s Journey, #5

By Steven Pressfield | 14 Comments

As we continue this serialization, we’re hard at work on putting together the actual book—as an eBook, a physical paperback, and an audiobook. We’re in copy-editing and cover design right now. I’ll keep you apprised, for sure, as we progress … Now back to the book (we were in the section called “Characteristics of the Artist’s Journey”): 13. THE ARTIST’S JOURNEY IS MENTAL The sculptor may shape marble or manipulate bronze. The architect may work in steel and stone. But these materials are merely the physical embodiment of an image that the artist sees inside her mind. The artist’s medium…

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The Artist’s Journey, #4

By Steven Pressfield | 22 Comments

We’re a week into the launch of the new site and The War of Art Mini-Course. The course is on the house, so check it out and let us know what you think. And now back to our regularly-scheduled programming . . .  Herewith, the ongoing serialization of The Artist’s Journey (if you missed any previous installments, scroll down through the previous posts immediately below):   7. A GIFT FOR THE PEOPLE In the mythology of the hero’s journey, the hero at the conclusion of her ordeal returns home safely from her wanderings. But she does not arrive empty-handed. She…

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The Artist’s Journey, Cont’d

By Steven Pressfield | 17 Comments

Friends and members, welcome to our re-designed site! Explore a little and you’ll discover a free five-part War of Art mini-series. This is brand-new, read by me. Each section is about five minutes long. The audio is a sort of intro to the principles of Resistance and the idea of Turning Pro. Click here to sign up and we’ll shoot it straight to your Inbox. Don’t be scared of the new site. It’s made for ease of access to all the resources we’ve been putting in place over the past few years. And now … back to our ongoing serialization…

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Untitled Book, Installment #2

By Steven Pressfield | 36 Comments

THE HERO’S JOURNEY AND THE ARTIST’S JOURNEY {continuing from last week’s post}     I have a theory about the Hero’s Journey. We all have one. We have many, in fact. But our primary hero’s journey as artists is the passage we live out, in real life, before we find our calling. The hero’s journey is the search for that calling. It’s preparation. It’s initiation (or more precisely, self-initiation). On the hero’s journey, we see, we experience, we suffer. We learn. On our hero’s journey, we acquire a history that is ours alone. It’s a secret history, a private history,…

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"This Might Not Work … "

By Steven Pressfield | 71 Comments

  Stealing a phrase (above) from Seth Godin, I’m going to try something a little different over the next few weeks and maybe more. I’m gonna serialize a book I’ve been working on. The book is about writing. I don’t have a title yet but the premise is that there’s such a thing as “the artist’s journey.” The artist’s journey is different from “the hero’s journey.” The artist’s journey is the process we embark upon once we’ve found our calling, once we know we’re writers but we don’t know yet exactly what we’ll write or how we’ll write it. These…

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How Steven Spielberg Handles his Villains

By Steven Pressfield | 8 Comments

  Steven Spielberg loves to tease us with his villains. He shows them only indirectly. In the audience we see the effects of the Bad Guys’ actions, but we rarely see the malefactors themselves. This is tremendously powerful because it makes us imagine what the forces of evil look like, and that’s always scarier than actually seeing them in blinding daylight. Remember the scene in Jaws with the three yellow barrels? Our heroes in their boat (Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, and Robert Shaw) harpoon the shark with cables linked to three huge yellow air-tank-like barrels. The barrels float on the…

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Give Your Villain a Great Villain Speech

By Steven Pressfield | 17 Comments

  I’m a huge fan of Villain Speeches. There’s nothing better in a book or a movie than the moment when the stage is cleared and Satan gets to say his piece.   GORDON GEKKO I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them! The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge…

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Ask Yourself, "What Does the Villain Want?"

By Steven Pressfield | 9 Comments

  For James Bond villains, the answer is easy: world domination. That’s a pretty good want. Here are a few others:   To eat your brain. To eat your liver. To eat you, period.   Or even better:   To destroy your soul. To destroy your soul and laugh about it.   If you’re keeping score, the answers to the above (among others) are 1. All zombie stories, 2. Hannibal Lecter, 3. The shark, the Alien, the Thing, etc., 4. the Body Snatchers, 5. the devil in The Exorcist. Why is Hillary Clinton such an inexhaustible object of hate to…

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Give Your Hero a Hero Speech

By Steven Pressfield | 12 Comments

  Let’s take a break today in this series on Villains and turn to the guy or girl opposite him: the Hero. We’ve been saying in these posts that the Antagonist needs to be given a great Villain Speech, a moment when he or she gets to try to convince us that greed is good or that we can’t handle the truth. The hero needs her moment to shine too. It’s our job as writers, yours and mine, to serve up some juicy, soul-defining, U.S. Prime dialogue for our protagonist to deliver. Here’s one of my faves from the movie…

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