The Artist’s Journey and Wisdom of Little Successes
by Writing Workshops Staff
A year ago
I heard about Randall Wallace's little success theory listening to Steven Pressfield on the Tim Ferriss podcast, which you can listen to HERE. I found the conversation so inspiriting. Pressfield talks about The Artist’s Journey, the Wisdom of Little Successes, Shadow Careers, and Overcoming Resistance.
Randall Wallace wrote Braveheart and has a working theory that he calls little successes.
From the moment Randall gets out of bed he’s looking ahead to the moment when he actually sits down and has to write (what writer doesn't do this), and he’s trying to produce a series of little successes between now and then to generate momentum. And Randall counts brushing his teeth as a little success, or exercising first thing in the morning. He's trying to build up little successes so that by the time he sits down at the page, he feels like there is some momentum going.
Think about Steph Curry's game-day routine. He is at the stadium three and a half hours early. Even before he hits the court he is getting muscle treatment and mentally preparing himself for the game that night. If you watch Steph Curry do his pre-game routine, it’s always the same: big rubber bands around his knees, 100 shots from beyond the arch, a few from the tunnel, etc. And he’s trying to build up little successes so that when the game starts, he’s in the flow immediately and he’s operating at the highest possible level. That’s the theory of little successes, anyway.
As writers, the routine is important. The muse benefits from a schedule, if not a daily commitment to write at some point. I've said before my daily word goal is 250, which is easy to hit and a goal I often shoot past.
So what are you doing to create little success for yourself? What routines allow you to sit down and write with confidence? Momentum is so important. It builds confidence, rocket fuel for writers.
Go on a walk and give the episode a listen (which you can listen to HERE). It will feel like a little success, I promise.