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ARCHIVES OF October, 2010

Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays

When It Works

By Steven Pressfield | Published: October 27, 2010

I want to try something different this week. I’d like to ask our readers to write in. What I’m looking for is mini-posts about a moment in your writing or painting or filmmaking or any artistic or entrepreneurial career “when it worked.” When your stuff actually connected person-to-person. Here’s the kind of moment I mean:

"Gates" in AFG

From the back of a Special Forces fighting vehicle in Afghanistan (see story below)

When It Worked Moment #1

This just happened last week. Gates of Fire is a historical novel I wrote; it’s about the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.  I got the following e-mail (and the photo on the right) from a staff sergeant in the Special Forces in Afghanistan.

Dear Mr. Pressfield,

I understand you have been in contact with my Team Leader, Michael H., and he recommended I send you the attached photograph.

My Special Forces team passed around a copy of Gates of Fire during this past deployment to Afghanistan. I took this photo while we were in a firefight in the mountains of Paktika Province, during a small lull in shooting. I had the camera out to photograph helicopters making gun runs when I looked over and noticed your book…

We figured you might appreciate it.

Greg M.

Special Forces ODA 3325

When It Worked Moment #2

This is your moment. Post it below in the LEAVE A REPLY box. It should be a moment “when it worked.” When all the hard work paid off.

The three best moments get a free signed copy of The War of Art. (more…)

Posted in Writing Wednesdays
48 Comments

Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays

My Life As A Mad Man

By Steven Pressfield | Published: October 22, 2010

[First, many thanks to everyone who made our two-day $1.99 special on the eBook version of The War of Art so successful. The switchboards were lighting up like the Fourth of July. Even if you just browsed and didn’t pull the trigger, thanks for the thought. Your interest and attention are very much appreciated.

Order the eBook

[As of today, the FastPencil price on The War of Art goes back to $9.99. All other platforms set their own freight. We have no influence, alas. (Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on The War of Art 2.0., which I hope to have in six months or so. Watch this space for news!) And now … back to our regularly scheduled programming.]

My life as a Mad Man

I worked in the ad biz a little bit after Don Draper. He was gone by the time I showed up. Here’s a post about the single greatest lesson I learned working on Madison Avenue. But what I want to talk about today is the least prestigious ad gig I ever had.

This job was a significant turning point for me, in terms of becoming a professional. Let me set the stage:

I was in my mid-thirties. Not a kid anymore. I had long since left Mad Ave and crashed and burned a number of times in other endeavors. I had migrated at last to L.A.—dead broke, no prospects, writing screenplays that nobody wanted and scraping by on whatever freelance ad stuff I could dredge up. Somehow (I forget the exact circumstances) I got the following assignment:

It was what they call a data sheet. Not even an ad. The job paid twenty-five bucks. The product was an egg carton. The audience was not the public; it was egg farmers and producers. The assignment was to sell them on this specific brand of egg carton. I remember thinking, “Steve, this is about as low as you’ve ever gone as a writer.”

I was wrong. That attitude was egotistical (not to say narcissistic), snot-nosed, defensive, condescending, entitled and all-around bullshit. Fortunately for me, the egg carton was about to teach me a lesson. (more…)

Posted in Writing Wednesdays
19 Comments

Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays

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

By Steven Pressfield | Published: October 20, 2010

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.

Buy the eBook!

Wednesday and Thursday Only: Click to buy!

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 fix it.

My life as a Mad Man

I worked in the ad biz a little bit after Don Draper. He was gone by the time I showed up. Here’s a post about the single greatest lesson I learned working on Madison Avenue. But what I want to talk about today is the least prestigious ad gig I ever had.

The lowliest ad job I ever worked on

This job was a significant turning point for me, in terms of becoming a professional. Let me set the stage:

I was in my mid-thirties. Not a kid anymore. I had long since left Mad Ave and crashed and burned a number of times in other endeavors. I had migrated at last to L.A.—dead broke, no prospects, writing screenplays that nobody wanted and scraping by on whatever freelance ad stuff I could dredge up. Somehow (I forget the exact circumstances) I got the following assignment:

It was what they call a data sheet. Not even an ad. The job paid twenty-five bucks. The product was an egg carton. The audience was not the public; it was egg farmers and producers. The assignment was to sell them on this specific brand of egg carton. I remember thinking, “Steve, this is about as low as you’ve ever gone as a writer.”

I was wrong. That attitude was egotistical (not to say narcissistic), snot-nosed, defensive, condescending, entitled and all-around bullshit. Fortunately for me, the egg carton was about to teach me a lesson. (more…)

Posted in Writing Wednesdays
40 Comments
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