Haven't obsessed over the Nicholl this year because with the 6,000 or so entries that will probably get dumped in Greg Beal's mailbox, I've kind of adopted a Tripper Harrison (Meatballs) attitude toward the whole thing:
And even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win! Even if we play so far above our heads that our noses bleed for a week to ten days; even if God in Heaven above comes down and points his hand at our side of the field; even if every man woman and child held hands together and prayed for us to win, it just wouldn't matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Mohawk because they've got all the money! It just doesn't matter if we win or we lose. IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER! That's how the Nicholl works. You can't control the variables -- what desk your work lands on, what kind of experience your readers have, what genres they like, or whether they GET IT. There's only so much the Nicholl can do to level the field. And, honestly, maybe your poop DOES stink despite loud protestations to the contrary.
Yeah. I'm going to enter and I still want to win a Nicholl. Why? I dunno. Why does anyone set any kind of goal at all and then go after it. Don't tell me it's not the only gate to Hollywood. I know that and I don't care. It's not just about access. It's a goal. It's MY goal.
I enter the Nicholl for the same reason that I drag my sleepy butt to the gym every morning and torture my aging body on cardio and weight training equipment although I know full well that these sufferings may burn a few calories but will never make me a size six again. Never. I can't control all the variables. But it's a goal and working toward a goal -- ANY GOAL -- is, at the very least, moving me forward, getting me somewhere today that I wasn't yesterday.
Oh, and for the record, cottage cheese is nasty.