Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t
Steven PressfieldTough love from the author of The War of Art. Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t is Pressfield’s “lessons learned" from a career in five different writing fields—advertising, screenwriting, fiction, narrative nonfiction, and self-help. This is wisdom from the trenches, teaching you how to obey the platinum rule of writing . . . THOU MUST MAKE IT INTERESTING!
Tough love from the author of The War of Art. Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t is Pressfield’s “lessons learned” from a career in five different writing fields—advertising, screenwriting, fiction, narrative nonfiction, and self-help.
This is wisdom from the trenches, teaching you how to obey the platinum rule of writing . . . THOU MUST MAKE IT INTERESTING!
FROM CHAPTER FOUR:
“When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, your mind becomes powerfully concentrated. You realize that writing/reading is, above all, a transaction. The reader donates her time and attention, which are extremely valuable commodities. In return, you the writer must give her something worthy of her gift to you.
“When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, you develop empathy. You acquire the skill that is indispensable to all artists and entrepreneurs—the ability to switch back and forth in your imagination from your own point of view as writer/painter/seller to the point of view of your reader/gallery-goer/customer. You learn to ask yourself with every phrase and every sentence: Is this interesting? Is it fun or challenging or inventive? Am I giving the reader enough? Is he bored? Is he following where I want to lead him?”
If you're a reader of www.stevenpressfield.com, you already know more about Steve than his own family. So in lieu of a conventional bio, here are a few fun facts: 1. Steve and Shawn Coyne first met in 1998, when Shawn as an editor at Doubleday made an offer on Steve's historical novel Gates of Fire. Shawn was the only editor in New York to do so. Gates has gone on to sell more than a million copies. 2. It was Shawn who came up with the title, The War of Art, when his indie publishing house, Rugged Land, published the book in 2002. (Steve's title was The Writer's Life.) 3. The first person fired off the movie version of Steve's novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was Steve himself. The film's producer, multi-Oscar-winner Jake Eberts, phoned Steve to inform him that the director, Robert Redford, had a writer of his own that he wanted to work with. Steve thanked Jake sincerely and profusely, explaining that this was the first time he had ever been fired off a project, where the individual doing the firing had the good manners to actually inform him of that fact—instead of Steve having to read about it in the trades. 4. Steve's literary agent for Bagger Vance (who also made the deal for Steve's latest novel, 36 Righteous Men, coming in 2019 from W.W. Norton) is Sterling Lord of Sterling Lord Literistic. Sterling is ninety-eight years old and going strong. In 1948 he made the original deal for Jack Kerouac's On the Road—for $900.