Steven Pressfield’s poetic definition of a soldier.

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Steven Pressfield is a prolific writer that has written novels like The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire and Tides of War.

He’s so profound in the realm of historical fiction that Oxford History professors recommend his books to students interested in immersing themselves in Ancient Greek culture.

To command that level of respect, it requires some serious writing chops. And, more so, a level of tenacity not many writers possess.

In Pressfield’s book, The War of Art, he tells of the time when he was writing his very first novel.

“In my little house I had no TV….”

“I never read a newspaper or went to a movie. I just worked. One afternoon I was banging away in the little bedroom I had converted to an office, when I heard my neighbor’s radio playing outside. Someone in a loud voice was declaiming “…to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” I came out. What’s going on? “Didn’t you hear? Nixon’s out; they got a new guy in there.” I had missed watergate completely.”

Pressfield goes on to write that after he had completed the above novel, he didn’t actually successfully publish a novel for another two decades…

At the ripe old age of fifty-two.

(That’s a long fight, huh?)

In one of Pressfield’s lesser-known books, The Afghan Campaign, he shares a definition of a solider in the form of character dialogue…

“You’re wondering what a soldier is, aren’t you?… We’re mules, lad. Mules that kill.”

Like Pressfield, what I admire most about the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country isn’t just the bravery but the tenacity to show up and clock in under miserable conditions, again and again.

This is what they say is so lethal about Marines, that they’re okay with being miserable; that they receive a sort of sick pleasure from being miserable.

While I can’t speak for Pressfield, I think we pay tribute to those who have fallen for our country not just in remembrance, but in embodying their tenacity…

By being mules, workhorses, in our lives, careers and passions.

And, by being ever thankful that we don’t have to kill.

But, I digress.

By Cole Schafer.

You gotta check this out — Sticky Notes is my email list reserved strictly for entrepreneurs and creatives looking to sell like a Florida Snow Cone Vendor on the hottest day of the year.

Originally published at on May 25, 2020.

I write pretty words and sometimes sell things.

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