It Just Doesn’t Matter

One of the all time great pep talks is near the end of the Bill Murray geeks-at-camp flick “Meatballs.”

Go ahead and watch it. I’ll wait.

The great thing about this is the idea that winning isn’t important. Winning is impossible anyway, so why worry about it. It just doesn’t matter. But what does matter, the only thing that matters, is having fun. It’s the only life you get. Enjoy it.

I think a lot of writers forget this. We’re goal-oriented people. We have to be; we’d never finish writing hundred thousand word novels if we weren’t. And we get so caught up in “winning”, however you define that–publication, fame, fortune, unlimited supply of hamsters–that we stop having fun. We start to think it matters, and then every little setback devastates us.

Stop that. It just doesn’t matter. King and Patterson and Rowling will have all the money and fame no matter what you do. Settle down. Make stuff up and entertain people with it. That’s what this job is. It’s goofy, when you think about it. Enjoy that. Have fun, and let victory attend to itself.