James Irwin answered a question to a post on Reddit.com a few years ago. It would change his life. The question, explained in a story in Wired Magazine asked how a group of US Marines would do if they were taken back to ancient Rome and had to do battle with the emperor’s troops.
At work in Des Moines Iowa, Irwin only had a little while during his lunch break to compose what he called “Day One.” In the post he laid out the scenario and began the story. The comments, upvotes and praise on Reddit were overwhelming. They wanted more. And they wanted it right now!
So Irwin kept writing, posting Day Two, and then a few days later, Day Three. Commenters went nuts, thousands of people weighed in, telling Irwin how much they loved what he was writing. Also taking note was a Hollywood agent, who read the posts and saw great potential.
A week later the agent had good news. Join the Writer’s Guild, Irwin was told. We’re sending you a six-figure advance. He quit his job and now, despite how surprised he is, he’s no longer working for the software company.
The only thing Irwin said he misses is that he can no longer post the stories on Reddit, it’s no longer ok to give away the writing that’s now bringing him fame and fortune.