Writing Wednesdays

Labors of Love

By Steven Pressfield |

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 |

[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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

[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 |

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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Write For a Star

By Steven Pressfield |

“Write for a star” is one of the primal axioms of screenwriting, but it has applications across many other fields as well. What does it mean to write for a star? Writing for a star means create a role that a star wants to play. Your story may be dynamite, your structure may be sound, your theme profound and involving. But the first question a producer is going to ask is, “Who can I cast in this thing?”

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Depth of Work, Part Two

By Steven Pressfield |

You have to be a little crazy to be a writer or an artist or an entrepreneur. A certain breed of insanity is required to chase a dream or to seek to bring into manifestation something that only you see or hear. I’ve gotten to know, over the years, a few genuine warriors  (I mean real fighting men, multi-tour Special Forces guys and Marines, Rangers and Airborne and Navy SEALS and plain old hardcore Army foot-sloggers) and you’ve gotta be crazy to do that too. How do you know how crazy you are? By how genuinely nuts you get when…

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