most unexpected place to find Moby-Dick (today): Steven Pressfield’s Do The Work

We heard Do The Work! was a great, brief, kick in the pants companion to the War of Art. And it is. But were we expecting to see Melville’s writing tactics, and the plot of Moby-Dick, there? No.

Late in the book, Pressfield discusses projects that crash (and strategies and ways of thinking to decrash them). And he uses Melville’s Moby-Dick project as illustration:

... let’s imagine that Moby Dick crashed 9/10ths of the way through and Herman Melville texted us in a panic, pleading for help. What would the rescue operation look like?

It’s a really interesting five pages. The peer-workshopping intervention Pressfield imagines for a close-to-the-finish-line Melville is quite unlike anything a literary scholar might write. And fascinating. It’s on pages 81-85. Check it out.

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