Hi! Today I’m just going to read a little bit from a blog I usually read by Cal Newport. What he says is very important and it’s really appropriate, I think, for Star Wars Day.
Favorable Conditions Never Come
In the sermon delivered at the height of World War Two, a period awash in distraction and despair, CS Lewis delivered a powerful claim about the cultivation of a deep life:
We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.
That is a really great observation because really favorable conditions just never come. You just have to decide you’re going to do something and do it, regardless of the conditions.
To read the story summarized in the video, click here! 🙂
What always caught my attention. And this is Cal Newport saying this. What always caught my attention about the story was not the chase, but instead what Roosevelt brought with him for the adventure, a copy of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, which he would read in bursts huddled under a blanket to keep rain off its pages.
We all face distractions from the deeper efforts. We know are important, the confrontation of something not going right in our lives. An important idea that needs development, more time with those who matter most. But we delay and divert. It’s easier to yell at someone for doing something wrong than to yell in pride about something we did right. It’s easier to seek amusement than to pursue something moving.
At some point, however, there’s nothing left, but to embrace Lewis’s call to “get down to our work”, even if the favorable conditions never come.
Now, what really caught my attention in all of this was the fact that Roosevelt was able to get through this ordeal he went through by reading fiction. Now, what does that tell you about the value of fiction? That should tell you something very important about the value of fiction. That it has value and that we should be valued as fiction writers as a result. So don’t undervalue yourself or your work and do the best work you possibly can.
And on that note, happy Star Wars Day, and may the force be with you.
PS: Here’s a great opportunity for someone who’s unpublished.
And if this doesn’t tell you how important storytelling is, nothing will. 🙂
PPS: Here’s the Star Wars screenplay. (For educational purposes only.)