SPS 123: The War of Art & Turning Pro As A Writer with Steven Pressfield (Fiction, Nonfiction, and Screenplays)

Posted on Sep 15, 2021

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Today I’m chatting with Steven Pressfield, who has authored several books, both fiction and non-fiction. We’ll talk about the difference between fiction and non-fiction writing and what you need to do to turn into a pro author.

Meet Steven Pressfield

The “War of Art” is about work. Steven believes that although we can’t control the level of talent we’ve been given; because we have no control over the nature of our gift. What we do control is our self-motivation, self-discipline, self-validation, and our self-reinforcement. So we can control how hard and how smart we work.

Because there’s no magic bullet, you must arm yourself with the proper knowledge and resolution, so you can acquire the self-motivation, self-discipline, and self-belief necessary to become a focused, mentally tough working pro.

Tips on Writing for Authors

Steven suggests writing lean, meaning when you write, don’t use wasteful words. Instead, use as many impactful words as possible. He also recommends going with what your heart tells you to write. Steven also gives his advice on becoming a good screenwriter and organizing your screenwriting work.

Listen in to find out how to decide your characters’ narrative voice, how to decide on the tone of your book, and how you can play the author game long-term.

Show Highlights

  • [02:05] Why Steven decided to write books. 
  • [04:23] The importance of writing lean and not using wasteful words.
  • [05:23] How do decide what to write first – fiction or non-fiction.
  • [06:24] His first experience with writing and how he created his first three novels.
  • [08:02] Essential elements and components of a good screen writer’s script.
  • [13:22] The different approaches to writing non-fiction and fiction novels.
  • [16:36] How to decide on the tone of your book.
  • [20:04] Having resilience as an author and writer.
  • [23:26] Lessons learned from being an entrepreneur.
  • [27:41] Self-sabotage is your biggest enemy when writing a book.
  • [37:15] Steven’s advice to anyone who is considering writing as a career.

Links and Resources

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.

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