By Steven Pressfield | Published: October 27, 2010
I want to try something different this week. I’d like to ask our readers to write in. What I’m looking for is mini-posts about a moment in your writing or painting or filmmaking or any artistic or entrepreneurial career “when it worked.” When your stuff actually connected person-to-person. Here’s the kind of moment I mean:
When It Worked Moment #1
This just happened last week. Gates of Fire is a historical novel I wrote; it’s about the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. I got the following e-mail (and the photo on the right) from a staff sergeant in the Special Forces in Afghanistan.
Dear Mr. Pressfield,
I understand you have been in contact with my Team Leader, Michael H., and he recommended I send you the attached photograph.
My Special Forces team passed around a copy of Gates of Fire during this past deployment to Afghanistan. I took this photo while we were in a firefight in the mountains of Paktika Province, during a small lull in shooting. I had the camera out to photograph helicopters making gun runs when I looked over and noticed your book…
We figured you might appreciate it.
Special Forces ODA 3325
When It Worked Moment #2
This is your moment. Post it below in the LEAVE A REPLY box. It should be a moment “when it worked.” When all the hard work paid off.
The three best moments get a free signed copy of The War of Art.
When It Doesn’t Work
You and I, all of us, know only too well how difficult this path we’ve chosen can be. The books that never get published, the movies that never get made, the start-up ventures that never get funded. Or the stuff we actually succeed in getting “out there” only to watch it land with a thud or, worse, sink without a ripple. Or more excruciating still, when we sabotage ourselves and never complete our dream at all. The unfinished dissertation, the unwritten symphony, the new philanthropic venture that never gets off the ground.
But this week, let’s hear some success stories! Here are the ground rules:
1) Don’t cite awards. Awards don’t count. They’re too formal an acknowledgment.
2) The moment should be personal. It should be a connection heart-to-heart.
3) It should come out of left field, unsolicited and unprompted. The more unexpected the source of praise or connection, the better.
4) You can break any of these rules if you’ve got a good story.
It’ll look pretty cool, I think, if we can stack enough “moments when it worked,” one on top of another–and see them all together in one bunch. Just post yours in the LEAVE A REPLY box below. I’m hoping this compilation will encourage us all.
A free signed War of Art for the best three!