How Bestselling Author Steven Pressfield Defeats Resistance

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image“Creative work is…a gift to the world and every being in it.  Don’t cheat us of your contribution.  Give us what you’ve got.” – Steven Pressfield

How does bestselling author Steven Pressfield defeat Resistance, master his craft, and produce creative works of art on a regular basis?

He puts in his time and hits it with all he’s got on a daily basis.

That’s a much different story than waiting for inspiration or creative genius to strike.

He doesn’t focus on page count or quality.  Instead, he focuses on giving his best where he’s got his best to give during the core hours of his day that he calls work.

In The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, Steven Pressfield walks through what a typical day of writing is like, how he finds inspiration, and how he defeats Resistance.  Let’s take a look at “a day in the life” of Steven Pressfield…

The Morning Preparation

We all have our morning routines.  Here’s how Steven Pressfield prepares for the day ahead…

Via The War of Art:

“I get up, take a shower, have breakfast.  I read the paper, brush my teeth.  If I have phone calls to make, I make them.  I’ve got my coffee now.  I put on my lucky work boots and stich up the lucky laces that my niece Meredith gave me.  I head back to my office, crank up the computer.  My lucky charm I got from the gypsy in Saintes-Maries-d-la-Mer for only eight bucks in francs, and my lucky LARGO nametag that came from a dream I once had.  I put it on. “

I Start My Day

Pressfield starts his day by firing inspiration into himself from his lucky cannon.

Via The War of Art:

“On my thesaurus is my lucky cannon that my friend Bob Versandi gave me from Morro Castle, Cuba. I point it toward my chair so it can fire inspiration into me.  I say my prayer, which is the Invocation of the Muse from Homer’s Odyssey, translation by T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, which my dear mate Paul Rink gave me and which sits near my shelf with the cuff links that belonged to my father and my lucky acorn from the battlefield at Thermopylae.  It’s about ten-thirty now.”

I End My Day

He writes until he hits the point of diminishing returns.

Via The War of Art:

“I sit down and plunge in.  When I start making typos, I know I’m getting tired.  That’s four hours or so.  I’ve hit the point of diminishing returns.  I wrap for the day.  Copy whatever I’ve done to disk and stash the disk in the glove compartment of my truck in case there’s a fire and I have to run for it.  I power down.  It’s three-thirty.  The office is closed. “

I’ve Put in My Time and Hit it With All I’ve Got

The pages and quality will take care of themselves.  What’s important is that he’s defeat Resistance for the day.

Via The War of Art:
”How many pages have I produced? I don’t care.  Are they any good? I don’t even think about it.  All that matters is I’ve put in my time and hit it with all I’ve got.  All that counts is that, for this day, for this session I have overcome Resistance.”

What’s the moral of the story?

Don’t wait for inspiration.  Schedule it.

And hit your day with all you’ve got.

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