Steven Pressfield Online

What It Takes

What It Takes

The Things You Complain About are the Things You Could Be Changing

By Shawn Coyne
Published: August 22, 2014

In the dream, the writer and reader need no publisher or retailer. There’s no pooh-poohing gatekeeper or everything store keeping a writer in the wilderness or hiding his gems in the stockroom.

It ain't just a song

There is no front table. No cooperative advertising.

It’s simple. In the dream, the writer and reader are connected. One creates. The other supports the creation.

The writer writes something. He publishes it by working with other artists (editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, cover artists, book designers)…not as an employer demanding 40 hours a week of obedience and having to offer a salary, health benefits, and possibly a 401K for that servitude (overwhelming expenses that can take the fun out of anything).

Instead, the writer negotiates a fair fee for the piecemeal work and the supporting artists deliver.

The way this publishing works doesn’t require that the writer hand over his work to a corporation just to get Wal-Mart or Barnes & Noble or an independent bookstore to carry a copy for couple of weeks.

Instead, the writer uses a virtual network to let the people who like his work know when he has something new available. Over many years, the writer attracts readers to his corner of the universe.


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FROM MAC McCALLISTER

From MAC McCallister

Mac McCallister is our "Agora master"—the key writer for the Agora blog. This list reflects works written by Mac, as well as works he recommends to others for reading.

WARFARE: ANCIENT AND MODERN

Warfare: Ancient and Modern

I know I've left out some great works on this list in particular. Consider it a work in progress, always being updated. If there's a specific title that you'd suggest adding, let me know.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT

Alexander the Great

Curious about Alexander? Not sure whether to start with the ancient texts or with modern biographies? My vote is for the old school, then head over to the boatload of excellent and very readable contemporary writings about Alexander.

CLASSICAL GREECE

Classical Greece

Penguin Classics and the Loeb Classical Library (which gives the text in Greek on one page and in English on the facing) are the indispensable sources. Pick any and you can't go wrong. But here are the must-reads.

ON WRITING

On Writing

These are just a few of the titles that I've turned to in the past, from authors whose work I admire.

FAVORITE FICTION

Favorite Fiction

This is the ultimate short list. Hard to decide, but these two are starting points.

GOLF

Golf

The title for this list says it all—golf.

BUSINESS AND MOTIVATION

Business and Motivation

Another short list—big on motivation.

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