do what you’re doing

While I was in college, I had the opportunity to meet Alan Zweibel, one of the original writers for Saturday Night Live.

He told a story about how he got the job at SNL: he’d been writing jokes on his own, collecting them and refining them at open mic nights throughout Manhattan. One night, a young producer named Lorne Michaels saw Zweibel’s set. After the show, he told Zweilbel he was developing a late night sketch comedy show for NBC. He asked to meet with Zweibel to discuss working on the writing staff. “Bring any material you’ve written with you,” Michaels told him.

At the meeting, Zweibel handed Michaels his collected jokes, a mass of pages the size of a phone book. Michael’s hired him on the spot.

The point: don’t wait to get started. Do what you want to do. If you want to make movies, make movies. If you want to write, write.

When opportunity comes knocking, it doesn’t want to hear your ideas. It wants to know what you’ve been working on.

See also: What it’s like to live life as a two-headed monster.