Writing Wednesdays

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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Depth of Work

By Steven Pressfield |

This is a topic I plan to address in a series of posts over the next few weeks. But first I want to thank every correspondent who took the time to write in response to last week’s “Help!” post. As I type this, we’ve had 69 Comments. This is absolutely amazing, and I thank everybody. Particularly for the detail of the responses. It really helps me. I’m traveling this week and the next so I won’t be able to send out signed “War of Arts” yet in gratitude, but I will as soon as I can. Gracias, everybody, for the…

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“Help!”

By Steven Pressfield |

Friends of Writing Wednesdays, I’d like to ask for your wisdom and feedback. I’m taking a little survey, and you can be of real assistance to me if you’d answer, in the Comments section below, some of the questions I’d like to pose to you. (It’ll be my pleasure to send a signed copy of The War of Art to the half dozen commentators whose advice is most helpful.)

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