November 26, 2019

Never Waste a Crisis

By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine

Michael Bloomberg was being interviewed about his possible 2020 run for President and was asked about his stance on gun control in the light of the mass shootings in America. He felt there was an opportunity to get legislation passed while the public has this crisis on their minds. He made the statement, “A crisis is too important to waste.”

It may seem cold hearted but the truth is the crisis at hand will give wings to the legislation he is hoping for. It will do the same for other things as well. You see it all the time. Song writers write about current happenings. They take a crisis and let it carry their song further than it may go without it. The same is true for movies, TV shows and books.

The crisis of the day is reflected in our entertainment. This is due to several reasons. It is on our minds and possible has “top of mind” status. The story is known. It readily connects because it is familiar. As familiar as it is to us there is always a twist or two that can be added and change things about it entirely. The basic concept is there before us. Introducing a story with familiarity makes it easier to go deeper and make it more complex.

In politics a crisis gives reason to act. To reverse the process, that is to meet a political action one desires, one must create a crisis that can be acted on and met in a way that achieves the outcome we desired. Often this is implemented and achieved with no obvious connection between desired outcome and the crisis created.

With this said writers should keep their eyes open to the opportunities around us. Use the existing crisis at hand to give wings to your story. It can, with a quantum leap, carry your story further and faster due to its familiarity to the reader.

If there is no crisis to carry the story you have create one. What crisis would there need to exist to carry your story and bring to fruition the outcome you desire. This can be established by back tracking from your desired outcome to a reason why each step was completed. From outcome to crisis and crisis to outcome. This can work and work well for you.

All in all, as a writer we should always remember, “A crisis is too important to waste.” Michael Bloomberg,     

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