Search Results: resistance

Macro Resistance and Micro Resistance

By Steven Pressfield |

  I was having dinner a few nights ago with a young screenwriter and a big-time Hollywood literary agent. The writer was joking that her career had stalled on the “C” list. “If I had you for a year,” the agent said, “I’d get you high on the ‘A’ list.” The agent was serious, and a serious discussion followed. Most of the talk centered on the politics of career advancement. When I got home, though, I found my thoughts migrating to the craft aspects. How would a true, knowledgeable mentor elevate a talented writer’s career? How would he advance it…

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Resistance at the Ph.D. Level

By Steven Pressfield |

  Continuing our “reports from the trenches,” let me flash back briefly to last week’s post with the aim of setting today’s piece—Report #2—in a relatable time context. The plot so far: April 28, 2017. Shawn sends me his editorial notes on my new manuscript (my Draft #10.) Same day: I go into shock. Two weeks later: I summon the courage to read Shawn’s notes again. I succumb to shock a second time (though not quite as badly.) Three days later: I read ’em one more time. Shock is receding. Two days after that: I begin to actually grasp what…

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Every Villain is a Metaphor for Resistance

By Steven Pressfield |

  Darth Vader. The Gorgon. Medusa. They and every other villain in myth and literature (and real life) are metaphors for Resistance. Resistance is the universal and ultimate villain. Consider how this monster was described in The War of Art.   1. Resistance is Internal.   It is self-generated and self-perpetuated.   Resistance is Insidious.   Resistance has no conscience. [It] is always lying and always full of shit.   Resistance is Implacable.   It cannot be reasoned with. It is an engine of destruction … implacable, intractable, indefatigable. Reduce it to a single cell and that cell will continue…

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Your Resistance and Mine

By Steven Pressfield |

  This is the fourth post in our series called “The Professional Mindset.” Let’s pause here and flash back to what this stuff is all about. It’s about Resistance. We adopt the Professional Mindset for one reason only: to combat our own internal self-sabotage. The professional mindset is a weapon against Resistance, like AA is a weapon against alcoholism. Don’t laugh. The analogy is exact. Have you, the writer, ever woken up metaphorically face-down in the gutter at five in the morning with an empty bottle beside you? I have. Have you ever said to yourself, “I am powerless against…

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My Resistance Dream Diary #2

By Steven Pressfield |

  Picking up where we left off last week … I’m starting a new fiction project, very heavy with Resistance, self-doubt, doubts about the viability of the project, etc. I decided to keep a dream diary. Last week I posted the first two dreams. Here are the next two. This first one comes about a week into the work (3/28/16). Self-confidence in very short supply. I’m committed, but still feeling extremely tentative … I was a pilot. I had somehow gotten the training and become qualified. I was traveling via ship and train to Antarctica with my friend David and…

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My Resistance Dream Diary

By Steven Pressfield |

I’m gonna take a break this week from our series on Theme (we’ll be back) to address an issue that’s happening with me right now. Dreams. I’m just starting a new fiction project that’s overwhelming me with Resistance, and my dreams have been really interesting. I’d like to share a few of them—and the whole interactive process between waking, working life and nocturnal who-knows-what—over the next couple of weeks. Maybe this will ring a bell with your own psychic adventures. Here’s the backstory: About two months ago I had an idea for a story. Immediately I was swamped with Resistance.…

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Resistance and “Hooks”

By Steven Pressfield |

“Hook,” as I define it in this post, is probably not a legitimate psychological term. It’s more like hippie psychology. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) But it’s such a vivid term and so accurate in its depiction of how this phenomenon works that I’m gonna stick with it, even if it might not pass the DSM test. A “hook” is an action or statement designed to provoke a response. A hook is always hostile and always bears evil intent. (See this prior post, “The Principal and the Profile.”) If you’re a working artist, people are throwing hooks at…

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When Resistance Pays You a Compliment

By Steven Pressfield |

My friend Roda is on the cusp of finishing her second novel. We were having breakfast the other day and she was telling me she was absolutely overwhelmed by Resistance. “I know the dragon gets stronger the closer you are to the finish line … but wow, this is really more than I can handle. I’m stuck. The dark side is winning.” Here’s what I told Roda: “If you’re feeling that much Resistance, think of it as a compliment. Resistance is paying you a compliment.” Remember: the level of Resistance we feel at any point is directly related to the…

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Love in the Time of Resistance

By Steven Pressfield |

There’s a certain kind of relationship that often seeks out and torments writers and artists. Maybe you’ve had one. Maybe you’ve had more than one. In this type of love, one of the partners has become aware of her Resistance and is taking active, courageous steps to counter it. She’s writing her novel, she’s initiating her startup, she’s turning her life in a positive direction. Her lover admires and respects this. He’s drawn to her by her drive and her commitment. She has an energy. Good vibes radiate from her. It’s fun and exciting to be around her. Her lover…

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Resistance is Not Us

By Steven Pressfield |

There are concepts that are so obvious that it’s almost impossible for us to grasp them. This is one of them. What I mean by “so obvious” is, someone says something to us and we think, “Of course. Sure. I know that.” Then the concept blows right past us. It’s out the window and gone, and we’re no better off than we were before we heard it. Here’s the concept (focus hard): Resistance is not us. That voice we hear in our head? That’s not us. Those thoughts we think are our own? They’re not our thoughts. They’re Resistance. “You…

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