I always used to think the saying was “Man the torpedoes!” Like a command for everyone to run to their stations and be ready to attack. Not “Damn the torpedoes” which has an entirely different message of stoicism and courage under fire. How nice that for once the reality is better than the alternative.
Here’s a comment from my friend Rick
“You’re correct in saying that there is little to be said today that hasn’t already been said by someone. But sometimes things bear repetition and anyway, you can console yourself in the certain knowledge that this quandary has confronted every writer at some time or another. You’ll remember that there are only seven themes ever employed in creative writing throughout history, yet people keep grinding out books anyway. Why not? Even though an issue or theme has been covered a hundred times, you can still put your own unique perspective into writing about it. There’s only one you with your life experience. If you think hard enough about it, it’s not the subject of your writing that distinguishes you or anyone for that matter. It’s the interpretation of the subject through your utterly unique experience that creates the spark. Carry on I say, and damn the torpedoes!”