In a noisy era, it’s hard to stay the course
News sites and social media are consumed with ISIS, as well they should be, and that makes it difficult for writers (like everyone else, I suppose) to stay focused on their goals.
Perhaps (we might well ask) our goals are small and insignificant in the midst of crisis. The innocent people who died in Paris and elsewhere from terrorist attacks were staying the course of their lives up to the last minute when brutal thugs murdered them. Who are we (we may well wonder) to bury our heads in the sand as though none of that happened?
I’m working on a sequel to Conjure Woman’s Cat, an anti-KKK novella set in the 1950s, and I wonder–after being distracted by arguments on Facebook about the people displaying French flags as opposed to the flags of other nations that suffered recent terrorist attacks–whether a Klan story is relevant as a focus for today’s fiction.
ISIS tells us that Washington, D.C. is on their hit list. One wonders if there’s any way of stopping them. While wondering that, the dueling opinions in the media about “what ISIS wants” and “what we should do about ISIS” somehow seem more urgent than trying to increase sales and publicity for my work.
And yet. . .perhaps the chaos of not staying the course is what ISIS wants. Perhaps you saw French crowd pictures in the news with giant signs saying “We are not afraid.” Personally, I’m not afraid because I don’t think ISIS has ever heard of my small town. My worries are more about what the government will do to limit Freedom at the expense of security. Even when people say they aren’t afraid, it’s easy to justify the kinds of police-state-style abuses of freedom when those abuses are said to be saving lives.
So, I’m finding it hard to focus on another novel about the Klan while all this is going on. It might be easier if I didn’t have a Facebook account, but that account seems to be a necessary evil for a writer.
How about you? Are Paris and ISIS and bombing in Syria pulling you away from the work you intended to do this week? And, if so, should they be?
Or, is our distraction with all this a “victory” for the terrorists? I think maybe it is.