Pssst…Can I tell you a secret?
by Jessica Brown, Screenwriter and Board Member of Phoenix Screenwriters Association


Steven Pressfield opens his life-changing book titled “The War of Art” with a secret every writer/artist should know: “It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.” Well said, Mr. Pressfield.

The author goes on to share “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the un-lived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” The antagonist we all wrestle with every day.
Much like we screenwriters set up three acts in our screenplays, this book gives us three books:

Book One Defines the Enemy:
Resistance teams up with many other characters we writers know all too well; Procrastination, Trouble, Self-Dramatization, Self-Medication, Victimhood, Choice of a Mate, Unhappiness, and more. Pick your poison that you swallow each day as an excuse not to write. Mr. Pressfield has them all in there.

Book Two gives you a battle plan:
Here the author maps out the day-by-day, step-by-step campaign of the professional of preparation, order, patience, endurance, acting in the face of fear and failure – no excuses. Each of us have a professional writer inside us.

Book Three gives a vision of victory:
Mr. Pressfield gives us a profoundly moving, inspiring mental (and emotional) vitamin B12 shot we writers and artists all need. For me, it was his explanation of the difference between an amateur and a professional that stopped me dead in my tracks and got my attention. It got me off the fence and make a solid dedication to my art.

Mr. Pressfield shares “The amateur plays for fun. The professional plays for keeps. To the amateur, the game is his avocation. To the pro it’s his vocation. The amateur plays part-time, the professional full-time. The amateur is a weekend warrior. The professional is there seven days a week. The Professional loves it so much, he/she dedicates his/her life to it. Resistance hates it when we
turn pro.”

The investment in this book will serve you well over the years ahead. It’s one of those books you pick up when you find yourself blocked and unable to kick the writing into gear. I read it at least once a year and recommit myself to writing like a Pro. It helps me go from the life I live to the un-lived life within me, Resistance be damned.

Drop me a line at if you find this book helps you turn from Amateur to Pro. Or leave a comment here. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Writing!

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