Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays

Labors of Love

By Steven Pressfield | Published: May 5, 2010

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.

“It’s the Tribes” will continue too—under a new name, “Agora.” It will be edited and run by MAC McCallister. MAC will take the site to the next level for sure. He was a key participant in al-Anbar, Iraq, when the Sunni Awakening happened, and he hasn’t backed off since. He is outspoken, passionate and opinionated. I love him. He’ll be great.

To my “Writing Wednesdays” friends, I want to cite a couple of quick lessons I’ve learned from  the “It’s the Tribes” blog. Because they might help you and me in other areas.

A labor of love

It was a pretty crazy idea to launch the solo blog. It has cost me a freakin’ fortune and has involved months and months of work that took away from my book writing. But was it worth it? It was.

I did it for love, because I wanted to bring to the fore the issue of tribalism in the context of the war in Afghanistan. I wanted to make some noise, as much as one modest blog could do, because I felt that our soldiers and Marines were dying and suffering life-altering wounds because of a strategy and policy that made no sense alongside the social/cultural/tribal realities on the ground.  I believed that then and I believe it now. I felt I knew a little about the subject, not from boots-on-the-ground experience, but from my study of history, from research I’ve engaged in for books I’ve written. The blog was never intended to be a promotional tool to market my work. It wasn’t at the start and it isn’t now.

One paper we published—Maj. Jim Gant’s “One Tribe At A Time”—went viral throughout the military and policy-making community. Over a thousand e-mails came in to Maj. Gant from officers and other men and women thanking him for having the guts to tell it like it is. The paper stirred up debate. It got people really pissed off and that was even better. Other enterprises that we’ve started with this blog have fizzled, run head-first into walls or just crashed in flames. I don’t mind. It was fun. We’ll keep hammering!

Is love’s labor lost?

I guess what I want to say to us artists and entrepreneurs is that conventional yardsticks of success don’t apply to all enterprises. Labors of love count. You meet great people, you make wonderful new friends, you stir the pot. Payoffs come down the line, in forms you can never anticipate.

“Writing Wednesdays” itself came out of this venture. It was my friend Callie Oettinger’s idea. People started writing in about The War of Art and it seemed like fun to try to do an ongoing series. I’ve made a ton of friends through that—and some of these posts might even have been helpful or delivered a little wisdom and inspiration. I hope so.

Next week: a new site

So . . . to my “tribal” friends and my “Writing Wednesdays” pals, thanks for sticking with me and for sending in such thoughtful and passionate comments. Next week we’ll have a new site. Jeff Simon, our brilliant web designer, his Little Box Creations team, and Nancy Roberts, his top-secret design partner, have busted their butts to make them good-looking and easy to navigate. The site is a labor of love and will continue to be, from me and from MAC.

See you next week!

Posted in Writing Wednesdays

7 Responses to “Labors of Love”

  1. Annette Mencke
    May 5, 2010 at 4:30 am

    What can I say Steven, I totally feel that every WW post is a Labor of Love (hence I come back week after week as a loyal follower of your blog).
    I can’t wait to see your new site, I am thrilled – I mean really thrilled!!!!!!! With a BIG smile on my face. :)

    And when you least expect it: “Payoffs come down the line, in forms you can never anticipate.”

    WW is now ready to enter a new phase and grow even bigger and better. I totally believe in that!

    Until next week,
    Keep it up,
    Annette :)

  2. SJB
    May 5, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Sounds like a good split, I can hardly wait until next week.

  3. Holly
    May 5, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Sounds great–divide and conquer!

    And I lift my coffee cup in a toast to Callie, whomever she is, for the spark to ignite “Writing Wednesdays”.

  4. May 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    WW is a labor of love and a weekly swift kick in the ass. I appreciate and benefit from both. A now something new to anticipate and from which to learn. Bravo Steve!

  5. May 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I can’t wait to check out your new site. I just recently discovered your blog and it’s an incredible wealth of wisdom. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it!

  6. May 7, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Sounds great to this teacher from Down Under. Looking forward to more pearls of wisdom that will help me reach learners who are disengaged from traditional school.

  7. Simon
    May 8, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I think you’re right that “Writing Wednesdays” will work better on a separate site and look forward to you developing more of your writing posts.

    What’s happening with The War of Art 2.0?