I’m going to make you a promise right now: If I become a successful author, it’s because I’m a successful author. Nothing else. There are so many other things in life that are important, far beyond what they’re saying we should care about.
If nothing else good comes for 2016, maybe it’ll go down as the year when we finally learned to stop paying attention to what does not matter. Each of us has experienced a personal loss, whether it’s some famous person we cared about, or someone we knew personally. Maybe it made us pull back for a moment and ask ourselves: do we really need to hear what Susan ‘Cindy Brady’ Olsen thinks about politics? Do we really care what Barbara Walters thinks about ‘the legacy of The View?’ The last thing I want to become is another semi-famous person who thinks you’re entitled to my opinion.
The landscape of famous people has become so toxic that even Steve Martin can’t try to say something nice about Carrie Fisher without drawing a backlash. It’s a twisted world that defies even A-listers to navigate … what hope could I have?
Then there’s JK Rowling.
Now, I’m not a fan of the Harry Potter books, but I am refreshed to see one thing: JK Rowling keeps her opinions out of the press. Quick google searches show that she has some personal opinions, but no one is inviting her onto CNN or MSNBC to discuss the topic du jour. I can respect that. In fact, I’m reminded of Cary Grant’s famous line: “I’m opposed to actors taking sides in public and spouting spontaneously about love, religion or politics. We aren’t experts on these subjects.”
Gant and Rowling have the right idea: we’re in the business of bleeding onto the screen or page. Fame doesn’t mean that we know any more than anyone else. Navigating these waters still fills me with dread. I’m glad to see others share my opinion of focusing on what matters.