In the interview, he says he got the numbers for the movie's first weekend, and was upset--until he got a phone call saying his father had cancer.
"That Monday started the new phase of my life, a new concept: Only love is going to fill that hole,” Smith said. “You can’t win enough, you can’t have enough money, you can’t succeed enough. There is not enough. The only thing that will ever satiate that existential thirst is love. And I just remember that day I made the shift from wanting to be a winner to wanting to have the most powerful, deep and beautiful relationships I could possibly have."
I think sometimes I do this. I think my personal worth, or how valuable I am to my family (or others) comes from how successful I am in my writing. If my sales are high enough, then they'll like me.
But over the past couple of years, I've learned the same thing as Will Smith. Having "friends" who only want to be my friend if I'm getting major deals isn't going to fill the hole. I can't win people that way. No amount of money will buy them. As he says, there is not enough.
I've shifted my attitudes, perceptions, and expectations about five thousand times on this publishing journey. I'm sure I'm not done yet. But really, I've realized that writing is not my life. It is something I do. Something I enjoy. But if I didn't do it, I would still be me. I would still be valuable. I would still have my family, my personal worth, and be happy.
I don't think I would've learned that without some of the failures I've experienced in publishing. So I am grateful for them, and hopefully I can continue to learn from them.
What have you learned on your publishing journey?
(There's a recap of just that part of the interview here. The full interview is here. I recommend reading the whole thing, because it has a lot of other great stuff in it.)