Writing For, Not Against
by Gregory Lewis
Licensed To Live
About four years ago I attended a lecture given by a prominent lawyer who represented two Guantanamo detainees. As this took place during the depressing Bush-Cheney years, the theme of the lecture was steeped in the setback to the U.S. Constitution which included, among other disturbing trends, Presidential signing orders to Congressional decrees, a policy of rationalizing torture, the War Against Nouns (Terror, this time around), unwarranted wiretaps, and several other forms of domestic spying.
After the lecture I met an older gentleman who said he had been an activist for three decades. I asked him how come he wasn't burned out.
"You don't burn out working for what you love," he told me. "Burn out happens when you fight against what you hate."
Lacking his experience, I could only take his word for it at the time, and reflect back on it throughout my writing career since. What I have found to be the case is that this gentleman was right.
Being a man subject to the whimsical circadian rhythm of the muse, I can't say there are not periods when my imagination seems to have lost its viscosity. I worry that my new situation, the absence of interesting people in my community, and the hot sun will sap my creative fluids, or at least dilute them. But my love of the the Great Liberal Ideal of a just, peaceable and educated world has kept my head above water, my back straight, and my quill inked (so to speak).
I suggest to my colleagues that you, too, speak out on behalf of that which you love. You will speak with a clear, distinct resonance. You will feel revived and tonified after an 800 word article, rather than drained and burned out. Your sex life will improve, pimples will clear, and you will outdistance the other guy who's made his life's mission "anti this" and "anti that."
Go ahead and try it. Write for the love of your ideals, believing that every word uttered is a step toward the prospect of a better world. Hope to see you again in about five years. Maybe 10, maybe 20.
Freelance journalist and graduate psychology student Gregory G. Lewis was a regular contributor to the West County News of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. As a correspondent to several Franklin County towns Mr. Lewis was better known by his Arts & Entertainment contributions, especially On the Marquee, a nuanced review of the region's outstanding art, music and drama.
Before his paper closed its doors in August of '08,
"My assignments took me to dinners and breakfasts with the Governor; to the 2006 Massachusetts Democratic Convention where I met candidate Deval Patrick, US Senator John Kerry and Kitty Dukakis; and backstage interviews with headliners like Scottish folk legend Dougie MacLean, The Mammals, The Wailin' Jenny's, and bluesman Chris Smither," said Mr. Lewis.
Gregory now explores exotic personalities, promoting introspective counseling through dream analysis.
Originally published on SearchWarp.com for Gregory Lewis Friday, June 04, 2010
Article Source: Writing For, Not Against