Writing Wednesdays

Two Days Only: “War of Art” eBook for $1.99!

By Steven Pressfield |

Once upon a time, I worked in advertising. I used to write those TWO DAYS ONLY (exclamation point!) headlines all the time, for toothpaste or dog food or checking accounts. It’s a giggle to be doing it now for The War of Art. Here’s a link to the store. Today and tomorrow only—10/20 and 10/21—get the eBook for a buck ninety-nine. Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks (iPad and iPhone), Barnes & Noble Nook, Borders Kobo and Ingram Digital. There’s also a .pdf version you can download and read on your computer. If anything goes wrong, write me or Michael Ashley—mashley@fastpencil.com—and we’ll…

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“The War of Art” eBook for $1.99!

By Steven Pressfield |

One of the mantras of Writing Wednesdays is the ongoing effort to think like a professional, work like a professional, be a professional. But sometimes it’s not so bad to be a lucky amateur either. To wit, here’s a serendipitous tale from a couple of weeks ago. I had just received the umpteenth note—this time via Facebook—from a frustrated reader who was trying to order the Kindle eBook of The War of Art. (The Amazon page has been crashing regularly since it first went up.)  “Why,” the reader wanted to know, “does Amazon keep saying there’s no such book? And why…

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The All Is Lost Moment, Part Two

By Steven Pressfield |

Let’s plunge right in, picking up our interview with Hollywood story consultant Jen Grisanti: SP: Jen, what are your own favorite “All Is Lost” moments from movies?  Can you give us one from something recent and then break it down for us? JG:  I love the “All Is Lost” moment from the George Clooney movie, Up In The Air, screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner from the novel by Walter Kirn. To set the stage, Ryan (Clooney) is an executive whose job is to fire people. When companies downsize, they outsource this unpleasant task to the company Ryan works…

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Getting to the Flow

By Steven Pressfield |

The lady plans to seduce her lover. Her object is to create a night of magic. How does she do it? First the setting, the lighting, the music. The mood, the wine … the lady orchestrates every detail. Her skin, her hair, her scent. She alters her voice, her walk, she paints on those witchy-woman eyes. Ooh, don’t forget those six-inch Manolos. But there’s more to the spell. The finishing touches lie in how she greets her lover; their talk, the rhythm of the evening, the dance between them. Almost imperceptibly the moment steals upon the pair. The lady is…

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The “All Is Lost” Moment

By Steven Pressfield |

I’ve never posted an interview in this Writing Wednesdays slot (see “The Creative Process” series below on this page), but the following confab with story expert Jen Grisanti seemed to fit so perfectly that I thought I’d feature it up here “above the fold.” Today is Part One of a two-part interview. Jen Grisanti is a Hollywood story consultant and the author of the upcoming Story Line—a book that is sure to become an instant classic and rock the worlds of a boatload of screenwriters, novelists and other storytellers. Jen made her bones in the ‘90s, working for Aaron Spelling…

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The Crazier The Better

By Steven Pressfield |

My friend Paul is writing a cop novel. The characters have seized him; he’s into it totally. “But it’s coming to me very dark,” he says. “I mean twisted, weird-dark. So dark it’s scaring me.” Paul wants to know if he should throttle back. He’s worried that the book will come out so evil, no one will want to touch it. Answer: no way. The darker the better, if that’s how it’s coming to him. Why do I say this? Because for writers—particularly ones at the beginning of their careers—Job #1 is testing their limits. Finding out who they are.…

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Writing Characters Who Are Smarter Than We Are

By Steven Pressfield |

There’s a great moment in the movie Tootsie, when Dustin Hoffman—in costume as “Dorothy Michaels” but speaking as himself, “Michael Dorsey”—says, out of respect for Dorothy, “I wish I was prettier.” In other words, the character he was portraying was better than he was. That’s an amazing thing if you think about it. Working above our game As writers, can we write characters who are beyond us emotionally and intellectually? Can we work above and past our own personal limits?  I’ve heard the opposite. I don’t believe it. How does Thomas Harris (who I’m sure is a very nice guy)…

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Looking for the Overlap

By Steven Pressfield |

[While the blog takes a short vacation, here’s a post from a few months ago that I’ve always been partial to. See you in two weeks!] Writers and artists get asked all the time, “How do you decide which book to write, which painting to paint?” The person asking the question usually has a million ideas in her head; she’s struggling to determine which one(s) to pursue. Here’s an answer from my experience. A few years ago, in Hollywood, I got a new agent. He was a good agent and he did what a good agent should do: he immediately…

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Sticking Points

By Steven Pressfield |

[In keeping with last week’s “Writer’s Journal” and the idea that the Last Push on a project is always the hardest (with the possible exception of the First Push … or is it the Middle Push?), I thought it might make sense to bring back this earlier post entitled “Sticking Points.” [Two facts that all artists and entrepreneurs can agree upon is that sticking points inevitably occur–and at thoroughly predictable times in the process. Part of being a professional is being mentally prepared for these rough patches. I did an interview earlier this year with Gen. Hal G. Moore, who…

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A Writer’s Journal, Day #1061

By Steven Pressfield |

Day Six: this will be a very short post. I’m giving myself the next two days off—and giving you, dear friends, the same. Yesterday I got through the final sticking point in the draft, and now all is right with the world. I’ll wrap with this one thought: From age twenty-two till almost thirty, Resistance had me utterly defeated. The form my malady took was that I couldn’t finish anything. I’d get 99% of the way through and then I’d act out, freak out, bail out. I was powerless. Resistance had me absolutely in its grip. Now, three decades later,…

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FREE MINI COURSE

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.

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