By Steven Pressfield | Published: December 4, 2013
This happened in New York, can’t remember what year. Early one frozen morning, I’m schlepping home from somewhere—probably a girlfriend had kicked me out—and I find myself on 53rd Street passing the Museum of Modern Art. There’s a line out front.
If you’re a New Yorker, you’re like a Russian during the Stalin era. You see a line, you get on it. A line means something good is happening. There must be, or people wouldn’t be lining up waiting for it. Even better this particular morning, the line is short. Six people. That means I’ll be up front. I’ll get into the museum ahead of just about everybody.
I get in line.
Time is about eight-thirty. Temperature ten degrees. Wind chill twenty below. No problem. I’ve got my sport coat, got a scarf.
In a line I’m like Louis C.K. I talk to people. “Freakin’ arctic, eh man?” “Yeah, coming down outa Canada.”
“The show’s free, right?”
“Yeah, see the sign?”
In the line we’re stomping our feet, jamming our hands into our pockets.
“Anybody had breakfast yet?”
I volunteer to run to the Greek deli. Ten minutes later I’m back with bagels and bialys, hot coffee in the blue-and-white cups with the Parthenon on the side. Now the line is up to about fifty people. Wow, this is great, I’m ahead of forty-four people now.
“What time do the doors open?”
“Somebody said eleven.”
It’s nine now. No problem. I can do two hours standing on my head. (more…)
By Steven Pressfield | Published: December 2, 2013
The second question in our Ask Me Anything Mondays series comes from Petra Miersch.
Do you always know exactly how the story will end? What do you do when you do not know the end?
You can also download a PDF transcript of the recording session.
If you’re just tuning in, these questions are pulled from a longer podcast that I recorded with Shawn based on your questions. It’s not too late to get involved, sign up for our First Look Access to get in on the action.
By Shawn Coyne | Published: November 29, 2013
Here’s another chunk from the book that is slowly killing me…THE STORY GRID.
Conflict drives stories. Without it, nothing happens. The words just sit there, inert like your uncle Lou in his Barcalounger on Sunday afternoon.
Even though we spend most of our time avoiding it, it’s important to remember that conflict is not “bad.” In fact, it’s the thing that gives life energy, instills in us a sense of controlling our own destiny. How we manage conflict, how we act when up against Resistance makes us who we are. As hard as it is to believe, getting everything you want without having to contend with inner anxiety or expend any effort would be Hell. Think about all of those mega millions lottery winners who blow all the money and end up destitute. It’s practically impossible to value anything not hard won through conflict.
Conflict boils down to this:
One person/character wants one thing, another person/character wants another.