As a writer: what are you doing?

by Steve on January 27th, 2015

Pre-production on my web series is in full swing. We start SHOOTING on February 7th! And in between Executive Producer duties, actor prep and my own writing projects, I’ve been helping clients and aspiring writers move ahead.

I’ve been talking a lot lately about zeroing in on YOUR PURPOSE as a writer.

You’re on the planet to do SOMETHING – to answer some question or explore some kind of issue, some flavor of inquiry. Whatever it is, it’s likely a thread in your best writing work. It unites the subjects you’re interested in, and informs the unfolding of your sharpest, juiciest creative work. 

It’s also the THING you ought to be talking about when ... Read more

What REALLY Matters

by Steve on January 16th, 2015

January has started with a BANG – as I move toward production of my web series SEND ME. We’re shooting in February, which is right around the corner, and I’m in full Executive Producer mode. That means contract stuff with unions, adding staff, crew and actors and revising my script. And in the midst of it all – writing! Writing other stuff, more stuff, different stuff.

When I’m in the midst of a very public project – one that involves other people and other input – it’s really helpful for me to “sneak” over to a project that no one knows about – and that’s what I’ve been doing. Writing something “under the radar” really feels good. 

Why? I think ... Read more

PAST / PRESENT / FUTURE

by Steve on December 24th, 2014

One of my favorite ways to spend this time of year is to look back and celebrate. Each year I write a top ten list of accomplishments, creative breakthroughs, most influential people, and artistic adventures. It’s always eye-opening to take in the abundance of the past 365 days. I’m particularly grateful for the crowdfunding campaign for my web series, doing some TV pitching, having a reading of a new play in NY and a writing workshop that I led this week at The Interlochen Academy in Michigan. In two days 20 students wrote short plays from beginning to end. Bill Church, director of Theatre Arts said this about the experience: “The students were positively jazzed by your workshop and very ... Read more

The Holidays: WHAT TO DO NOW

by Steve on December 20th, 2014
It’s that time of year: the Holidays. There are gifts to buy and family to see, parties to attend. In spite of the hustle and bustle of the season, creative people all over the world find themselves slowing down. It may be more difficult to get work done, with all that celebrating going on or with the slow burn that winter brings as your collaborators go out of town.

I’ve been talking with many clients and friends about this. Many of us aren’t interested in slowing down. We want to push through and MAKE something happen. Productivity at all costs.

From that perspective, it’s easy to imagine that we’re going to lose some ground if we participate in the holiday slow ... Read more

TV Scenes that ROCK! + 8 Things and a Workshop!

by Steve on June 20th, 2014

TV Scenes that ROCK!

I was recently on a panel about television with some heavy hitters. Two show runners, a few other writers, an agent, a manager and a TV exec. We heard TV pitches from students and gave our take. 

It was an exciting evening and I was glad to be of service. AND I realize there’s so much to learn. The wisdom coming from the show runners and the TV exec – the entire panel – such a smart group! I was honored to be part of the team.

Yes, there’s so much to learn. But does that mean we should stop in our tracks and quake in our boots? No – it means we should be in the ... Read more

DO THIS before you write your TV script!

by Steve on June 14th, 2014

How do you go from a TV story idea to a script?

Sounds like a riddle. But it’s not. 

The answer: an outline! There are two kinds: simple (what was once called a step outline) and a narrative outline. Find out all about them this week on the Creative Expression Session. 

When I was younger I used to write short stories. I would run out of steam somewhere in the middle of the work. I’d get lost in the details of the story and have no idea where I was headed. Outlines prevent that. Even if you change the story along the way, an outline ... Read more

CELEBRATE a NEW WAY of WORKING!

by Steve on May 23rd, 2014

My father is working on a children’s book. Very slowly. 

Last Thanksgiving I sat down with him and we wrote the text – it’s a story he’s been telling for years. Then he was supposed to create the illustrations for the piece and send them to me. He hasn’t done it yet. It’s been six months. And he’s retired – so there ought to be plenty of time.

What’s the hold-up?

Each time I talk to my father he has a different excuse. I won’t list them all. There’s something in the way of my dad working on this project. It could be anything. Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art would call it resistance. 

He’s not getting to ... Read more

Breaking news: THE BIG SHIFT

by Steve on November 1st, 2011
Last week, shortly after I wrote my newsletter, I got a life-changing call: I’ve been selected as a staff writer on the cable TV series Covert Affairs. I’ve been doing a happy dance ever since! I moved to Los Angeles almost two years ago in search of TV writing work – and I’m thrilled to get the opportunity. I love the show and the creators are really nice guys. Already I’m in prep mode – doing a ton of research and brainstorming show ideas. I’m also employing all my creative techniques: scheduling, taking breaks, taking deep breaths, asking for help. The writers room kicks in on November 7th – and I’m sure it will be a delightful, challenging adventure. I’m excited, also, to bring you every creative ... Read more

Your Life: This is Not A Test!

by Steve on August 18th, 2011
I was driving through Los Angeles this weekend and I saw a mural with the caption: This is Not A Test. The corresponding visual was of a man with his mouth wide open, as if surprised by the notion that he’s in the midst of real life. These days I’m engaged in in-the-moment living, working on goals that are important and, frankly, scary. I’m taking better care of myself – focused more intently on the things that I want in life. I’m willing to take actions and willing to let go. Two weeks ago, I took one of the most difficult actions I’d ever taken: I took a video producer to court over payment for ... Read more

Your Email Is Doing This Better Than You Are

by Steve on July 15th, 2011
I lived in New York on 9/11. It’s a long story that I won’t go into here, but essentially I was heading downtown on a crowded bus (to work) when the secondemail icon tower fell. It took me 6 hours to get back uptown to my apartment when I realized my workplace was closed. Buses were packed. Subways weren’t running. Pay phones were out of commission: lines were busy or phones were broken. I didn’t have a cell at the time. What does this have to do with email? Email was the only thing that worked reliably during that crisis and the days and weeks that followed. And the common subject line to New Yorkers was “Are You Ok?” I bring ... Read more

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