Writing Wednesdays

Training

By Steven Pressfield | 16 Comments

A few years ago, I got it into my head that I wanted to run a marathon.  The experience turned out to be a life-changer, not so much for the race itself (though that was pretty great too) as for the training that built up to it. I live in Los Angeles. There was a hospital downtown, Orthopaedic Hospital, that was offering a free six-month training program leading up to the L.A. Marathon. Classes met once a week, Sunday morning. Each session was on a different subject—hydration, footwear, “hitting the wall,” etc.  Probably 400 runners became regulars. The program helped…

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Is Writing Fun?

By Steven Pressfield | 34 Comments

Let’s kick off this new site on an unequivocal note: Yes, writing is fun! You might think I’d be the last person to make such a statement, given the hardcore, iron-discipline ethic of The War of Art and my endlessly-reiterated doctrine of the struggle between Will and Resistance. But yeah, for me, writing is fun. I love it.

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Labors of Love

By Steven Pressfield | 7 Comments

If you’ve been following these “Writing Wednesdays” posts, you’ve probably wondered what this “It’s the Tribes, Stupid” stuff in the background is all about. The twain don’t seem to meet, do they? I’ve felt that for quite a while too, so . . . Launching a new site Next week I’m launching a new site, which will be a better fit for all of my writing, titled “Steven Pressfield Online.” “Writing Wednesdays” will have its new home there. We won’t stop. In fact, we’ll add a couple of new features. The site overall will be more of a Pressfield/Writing site.

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On Research, Or What I Learned From A Single Sheet Of Fool’s Cap

By Steven Pressfield | 15 Comments

[I’m excited to share some of the new posts that will go up in the coming weeks. But for now, a repeat of one of the lessons I learned from Norman Stahl.] I’ve been lucky in my career in having a few really terrific mentors–just guys who’ve taught me stuff about writing and work. The best is Norman Stahl, the cosmically brilliant documentarian, novelist and military historian. Do you know people who’ve got a lot of bullshit? Norm has the least of anybody I’ve ever known. In fact I would say Norm has absolutely NO bullshit. Here’s one thing he told me:

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The Amnesiac’s Story

By Steven Pressfield | 21 Comments

Two of the most popular movies of the past few years are The Hangover and The Bourne Identity. What do they have in common? They’re both amnesia stories. I love amnesia stories. What could be more fun? Guy wakes up face-down on the floor of a villa in Vegas, or floating in a wetsuit off the coast of Marseilles. He remembers nothing. Who is he? How did he get there? And where the hell did that tiger in the bathroom come from?

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My Kind of Barbarian

By Steven Pressfield | 13 Comments

Where do ideas come from? (I don’t mean the shower–or while we’re driving on the Taconic Parkway.) What is the source of creativity? Where did the iPad come from, or the Eiffel Tower, or Nude Descending A Staircase? Here’s Robert E. Howard, who created the Conan the Barbarian series:

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Having A Practice, Part Two

By Steven Pressfield | 7 Comments

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve talked about Shame and Habit as allies in the struggle against Resistance. Shame motivates us to face our fears, and habit helps keep us in the groove once we’ve gotten started. Momentum is another powerful ally, along with ritual, love, enthusiasm, aspiration, patience, selflessness and greed (the good kind.) Put ’em all together and we can really get some mojo going. We can be working hard, having fun, contributing to the planet and actually getting somewhere. Which brings us to what, to me, is the highest plane of creative endeavor–doing it as a…

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Habit

By Steven Pressfield | 16 Comments

Konrad Lorenz, the Nobel Prize-winning zoologist, had a pet goose that he allowed the run of the house. The first day when the goose waddled in the door, there happened to be a mirror near floor height; the goose mistook his own reflection for some rival bird and flew into attack mode.

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Specking It

By Steven Pressfield | 11 Comments

[The blog is on the road this week.  Herewith: a re-run of one of the best-received posts, “Specking It.”  Back next week!] I moved from New York to Hollywood in the mid-eighties. This was the era of the “spec script”–a concept that has been of great use to me on many fronts beyond screenwriting. It might help you too.

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The Uses of Shame

By Steven Pressfield | 15 Comments

Shame is good. Shame is a tremendous weapon against Resistance. Along with habit, momentum, aspiration, anger, eros and joy, shame can be a mighty ally in the never-ending guerrilla campaign against self-sabotage.

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