The William Tecumseh Sherman of Writing


Reading books about writing can be dangerous. I think I mistook reading these books as progress in my writing development. Only writing can develop your writing. But these books can serve as useful reminders and wake up calls to keep writing consistently. Like the title suggests, Steven Pressfield has a militant, NO-BS, kind of tone in this book, which works well. He chronicles his own struggles with writing in between his teachings and the chapters are so short that you want to just finish the book in one sitting. The biggest takeaway I got from this book is to treat writing like a real job. That\’s an important message that\’s easy to lose sight of when you are writing at home in your sweatpants every day.

I recommend this book to writers and here are my notes to get you started.

Talent- the innate power to discover the hidden connection between two things-images, words, ideas- that no one else has ever seen before, link them, and create for the world, a third utterly unique workGenius- latin word means inner spirit, every one who creates operates from this sacramental centerResistance has no strength of its own. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and overcome resistance.The truly free individual is free only to the extent of their own self-mastery.Individuals who are realized in their own lives almost never criticize othersThe more scared we are of our work, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.The professional tackles the project that will make him stretch, into unchartered watersThe professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as the product of workThe professional loves his work so much that he commits his life to itThe professional doesn\’t talk about their work. They just do it.Bhagavad Gita- we only have a right to our labor, not the fruits of our laborProfessional knows that they can only be a professional at one thingThe instinct that pulls us toward art is the impulse to evolve, to learn, to heighten and elevate our consciousness. The more awake we become, the less we need the egoCreative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It\’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don\’t cheat us of your contribution, give us what you got.

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