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“The Authentic Swing” by Steven Pressfield. What is your Authentic Swing? and a book giveaway

The Authentic Swing by Steven Pressfileld

Last year I started to call myself a writer and I started to read blogs about writing. Several people said, “You should read The War of Art.” Well, I hate being told what to do, so I didn’t read it for months. But after I read it, I realized they were right.

And now I am telling you to read  Steven Pressfield’s new book: The Authentic Swing.  Notes from The Writing Of A First Novel. The Story Behind “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

You should read The Authentic Swing because you need a stool with three legs.

My life was like a stool with only two legs until I read The Authentic Swing. 

Mr. Pressfield made the third leg on a stool when he wrote The Authentic Swing

The first leg on the stool is  his book, The War of Art. The War of Art is about the battle to fight resistance and create. The book is a guide to “Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.”

There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What is hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.
–Steven Pressfield

The second leg on the stool is the book Turning Pro. You decide to be a professional and stop the habits of an amateur.

You don’t need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind.
–Steven Pressfield

And the third leg on the stool is The Authentic Swing. A book about how Mr. Pressfield wrote Bagger Vance and about how he found his own Authentic Swing.

The best and wisest thing we both can do is to find our own Authentic Swings and swing them.
–Steven Pressfield,  The Authentic Swing

Every morning I  fight the Dragon Resistance to sit down and create.  I fight off my bad  habits of staying up late reading stories about cats with two heads. I  made up my mind to be a professional. And now I am  fighting to become my true self, to find my own unique talent. My Authentic Swing.

What are you creating?
Are you creating something original?
Are you fighting  resistance  just to copy someone else?

Mr. Pressfield wrote novels for thirty years before The Legend of Bagger Vance was published and made into a movie.

What was different about Bagger Vance? Why was this novel published?

Mr. Pressfield will tell you in his new book. He shares his secrets. He shows how he approached writing Bagger Vance. He will tell you how he approaches writing all of his books.

The Authentic Swing is the story behind The Legend of Bagger Vance. Bagger Vance was a bestseller, selling over 250,000 copies. It was adapted into a feature film in 2000, directed by Robert Redford,  starring Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron.

Pressfield divides the book The Ultimate Swing into five parts.

Part One: Finding the Idea
Part Two: How A Writer Thinks
Part Three: Writing It
Part Four: The Authentic Swing
Part Five: The Movie

When I read the book I expected to find just a book about a book. I wanted to read practical answers to writing questions.

Straight forward and to the point.


There is more to the book than just the story behind Bagger Vance. 

What, I’m asking myself is Bagger Vance about? I’ve got a couple of characters. I’ve got the setting. But what’s the theme?
Steven Pressfield, page 48 The Ultimate Swing

Steven Pressfield was trying to find out the theme for the book he was writing about Bagger Vance. And I was trying to find out the theme to The Ultimate Swing.

What is the purpose of this book? What is the theme?

The theme of the Pressfield’s new book is about  finding your  own Authentic Swing.

The concept of the Authentic Swing is that each of us is endowed from birth with our own gift, our own style, our own unique talent and point of view. Our job is to find it and bring it forth.
— Steven Pressfield

Steven Pressfield  doesn’t want us to copy him or anyone else.

Swing your Authentic Swing.

— Steven Pressfield

Buy the book. You need the third leg to your stool.

The Authentic Swing is available at Black Irish Books.

I will be giving away five copies of the book, The Authentic Swing. The books were donated by Steven Pressfield. Isn’t he nice?
 This is what I want you to do for a chance to win.
1. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, and answer the question below.
2. Please share my post with your friends on Facebook , Twitter,  Google+, send e-mails, call a friend.
3. In 24 hours I will use a Random Number Generator to see who I will mail the book to.

The Authentic Swing is about finding yourself. What is your  Authentic Swing?

Thank you for commenting and sharing this post. Really. Thank you.
I wish I had books for everyone who commented. But, alas, I don’t.

And the winners are:

  • Christy Mossburg
  • Anastacia Maness
  • Eva P. Scott
  • Christa Sterken
  • Anita Ferreri

If you would like to read The Ultimate Swing, Mr. Pressfield has them available for purchase at  Black Irish Books.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • I loved this book.

  • Wendy Darasz

    I love the image of the Dragon Resistance. I’m fighting the dragon right now.

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  • This looks like such a good book, and I think it is so cool that Steven Pressfield asked you to review his book! I don’t know what my authentic swing is, but I am trying to figure it out.

  • Share Ross

    You’ve definitely stepped into your writer soul. I can feel it in this review. I’m re-reading the War of Art right now as I’m finishing up my book proposal. Funny how the last little bit has taken me as long as creating all the rest of it. Ha!

    My Authentic Swing is inspiring other people through entertainment. I inspire them to take action on their dreams.

    Am eager to check out another Pressfield gem.

    • Hello Share,
      What a great Authentic Swing. Helping others to take action on their dreams, inspiring through entertainment.

      I think I need to re-read The War of Art myself. The Dragon seems to be winning.

  • Great review, Pamela! My authentic swing is living every day like it is the most important ever, because it is. 🙂

    • Thank you Bryan.
      Yes, each day is the most important. Thank you for the reminder.

  • Hi Pam, back online. I’ll read both books and thank you for the post. Need the encouragement to start writing again.

    • Hello Patricia,
      I miss your writing. Pooh misses your writing. Today, I pray your words find their way out of your brain.
      You have a story that only you can tell.

  • nancy bouwens

    Looking forward to reading this book! Pressfield is a master at looking behind what keeps us from moving forward – and pushing beyond to create. Thanks for sharing your review!

    • Hello Nancy,

      Pressfield is good at that isn’t he?

      Now to listen to his advice and push beyond. Some days I want to just let the Dragon Resistance win and go back to bed.
      The battle really does need to be fought every day.
      ” Resistance never goes away and it never diminishes. The dragon must be slain anew every morning.” — Steven Pressfield

  • My authentic swing is to connect the spiritual with the emotional and the emotional with the spiritual. I also like truth-telling. The book sounds really good! I still haven’t bought The War of Art, though I keep meaning to…

    • Tanya,
      I do recommend The War of Art. It was published over 10 years ago, but the concepts still apply today.
      You are so fortunate to know what your Authentic Swing is. Some people spend their whole life copying someone elses swing.

  • One of my favorite authors!!! I was re-reading The War of Art for the fifth time today. My authentic swing is about operating in my “genius” and sharing what I create with the world.

    • Hello Eric,
      “The War of Art,” is a classic. Perhaps I should start reading my copy again. Sharing what you create sounds great.

  • Georgene Lohr

    I am looking to find my authentic swing. I’m just picking up the
    bat! I need help to discover how to pull my story out of myself
    to share my struggles and victories with others.

  • I was reading his blog not more than an hour ago and noticed the reference to this book. One thing I am noticing is how much enjoyment I get from helping and supporting others, whether it be time or money. I suppose this is why I enjoyed teaching. I’m definitely going to be getting a copy of his book very soon. Thank you for shoving a “should” my way!

    • Shelley,
      I don’t like the word, “should,” but I didn’t mind “shoulding” this book. You have always been a good encourager. A real gift.

  • Anita Ferreri

    Ok..so I want it and I need it too! I so want to do so many things …. but yes….it needs to be real and authentic for me!

    • Anita,
      Isn’t it exciting that you get to be you. That whatever you decide to do, you don’t have to copy anyone?

  • Jaana

    I was thinking that my authentic swing at school is to connect teachers with the right resources for the right students. In both school and outside of school, my authentic swing is encouraging.

    • Jaana,
      Your Authentic Swing will help so many people, And I’ll bet you have already helped many.

  • Part of my authentic swing involves helping people make connections. When that happens, I feel like I’m floating!

    • Amy,
      How nice to help people, and to float. I would like to feel that way too.

  • My authentic swing is to use Little League baseball to help build character in young kids.

    • James,
      What a great way to build character, through Little League Baseball. I wish you all the best this season.
      Are you a batting coach too?

      • I am the team manager, essentially same as head coach, so I help with batting, throwing, defense, etc. But just as important, I take a few minutes during each practice to talk about character. It’s been good.

  • I am on that journey right now trying to discover my authentic swing. I’ve started writing poems, art journaling, & learning photography.

    • Hello Raye,
      How exciting that you are writing and art journaling and learning photography. Who knows what you will discover as you create!

  • J.

    “What is your Authentic Swing?”

    Conducting small orchestras with great spirit. 😉

    • J.

      …this guest was me. 🙂

      • Thank you for telling me who you are. Your Authentic Swing sounds so spirited.
        Where in the world is your next concert?

        • J.

          Sorry, I messed up something with Disqus and wanted to identify commend in case of, well… winning this glorious book. 😉 I am still in a learning phase, so no concerts yet, I’m afraid.


  • Lisa Rothstein

    My Authentic Swing as i understand it is to use my creative gifts for business, education and for fun, and to inspire others to do the same. Like you I am a writer and a cartoonist, and what is funny is my cartoons of myself (see an example here) look a lot like your signature doodle here on your site, but our photos look nothing alike. We must be sisters under the skin!

    • Oh my Lisa!
      I love your cartoon.
      And we must be sisters.May I borrow your blue striped shirt sister?

  • Christa Sterken

    Been enjoying discovering my Authentic Swing the last few years. Narrowing mine down but recognizing it will likely change throughout seasons of life. Part of mine is to encourage introspection. To write for those who need to witness humility before God in order to be interested, to invite people into relationship as if they were coming over for tea

  • I’m in the process of discovering my authentic swing. I’ll often be writing away, happily sipping my tea, and clacking the keyboard when suddenly, a phrase, a paragraph or even, sometimes, a whole post will somehow reflect my authentic swing. I recognize it when I see it, but I’m still figuring out how to bring it out in public. The more I write, the more I think my authentic swing is somewhere along the lines of inciting others to take action. I can’t wait to get my hands on all three of Steven Pressfield’s books!

  • This looks an awesome book. I loved The War of Art and Turning Pro – I’m guessing I’m going to love this too. My authentic swing? I’m still discovering it, but I think I’m on my way…

  • My authentic swing is something I’m still working on developing. I want to point people towards God, but I need to find a unique way, my voice, to do it.

    • Eva,
      You will find your Authentic Swing. You will find it because you don’t want to be anyone but yourself. And you already are Eva. P. Scott.

  • Hmm… I am not sure what my authentic swing is. Is it sort of like finding your voice? If it is, then I think my authentic swing is to be real with people. To show that life might be hard but we can still be committed to what we set out to do. It sounds like I need to read all 3 of his books. Right now I don’t have even one leg to stand on. 🙂

    • Anastacia,
      You are so funny. You poor thing, you don’t even have a stool yet. But, you are Authentic. And that is what really counts.

      • Thanks, Pamela! I think humor might be a part of my authentic swing too. 🙂

  • Christy Mossburg

    My Authentic Swing is to change the world one person at a time through my writing. The words are always there in my heart and in my head – now I need to just sit and do the writing part! (Sounds like I need to read his other books, too!

    • Hello Christy,
      One person at a time is a good way to change the world. I look forward to reading your words when you get them out of your heart and head.
      His other books will help you have a stool with three legs. 🙂

  • My authentic swing is to write about things in such a way it touches people deeply. I want my readers to read my words and remember something significant in their lives.

    Have to read his book.

    • Hi Anne,
      You have an Authentic Swing and you have touched people with your writing. I know, because I am one of them.