By Keith N Fisher
A while back, I read Thomas Frank’s book, The Wrecking Crew. He has a marvelous way of putting politics into perspective and I thrilled to have someone express the facts as I’ve seen them in forty years of political observation and involvement.
I know there’s more than one side to the question, and everyone has their favorite issue, but the book spoke volumes to me. Frank refers to a particular portion of a political party as The Wrecking Crew, because of the way they’ve systematically disassembled our federal government. They raised hate and stratagem to an art form in forcing their beliefs onto the American people.
Recently, I’ve discovered another wrecking crew in our lives. CS Lewis may have hit the mark when his character, Screwtape, tells his nephew that it takes a hundred tempters to turn one good man, but it only takes one to keep a good man down.
Like the political wrecking crew, the other one uses hate, and deception to tear down the beliefs of an individual, and every time a person tries to rise above it all, the wrecking crew steps in with the most effective weapons they have. Things like discouragement, doubt, time restraints and regret.
The wrecking crew brings havoc into every life, but particularly that of a writer. Have you ever noticed just when your prose seems perfect, something comes up and shuts the process down? You begin to wonder if it’s worth the trouble, and why do you bother trying anyway?
In our personal lives, the wrecking crew steps in and convinces us to toss it all away. They debilitate us with thoughts of self-doubt and selfish desires. Faith is left by the wayside.
Just like our federal government, there is much good you can do, or have done, in the lives of those you come into contact with. Yes, there are system abusers, just like the activities we engage in, taking away from the important things of life, but the overall good, most often, outweighs the bad.
If you persist in your righteous endeavors, you will be successful. If you give in to the wrecking crew, they will destroy you. Like CS Lewis’ Screwtape, the wrecking crew uses every stratagem to work a wedge between you and your faith. Don’t let the wrecking crew win.
I read many books written by first time authors. Some have writing mistakes, some are works of art, but all have the capacity to touch a life in one way or another. I probably abuse the example of Harry Potter too much, but can you imagine what the literary world would be like, if JK Rowling had given in to the wrecking crew? She kept the faith and you can too.
Obviously, though, there are other forces at work, and many responsibilities we must fulfill. Don’t neglect your family. Try to find peace in the other activities of life. Many artisans over the years achieved great things at the exclusion of their personal joy. They gave in to the wrecking crew. Look at Vincent Van Gogh, and Ernest Hemmingway. Find the balance in your life and stop listening to the forces who are out to destroy you.
Good luck with your writing—see you next week.