This essay is about practicing a craft and the moral responsibilities that come with it. C S Lewis is best known in this country as a writer of children’s books, but his essays and the novel Until We Have Faces are amongst my favourite works. I read the following essay two or three times a year, both to remind myself of the lesson it offers and for the understated beauty of the writing
"The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it. But if you break it, a surprising result will follow. If in your working hours you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. You will be one of the sound craftsmen, and other sound craftsmen will know it. This group of craftsmen will by no means coincide with the Inner Ring or the Important People or the People in the Know. It will not shape that professional policy or work up that professional influence which fights for the profession as a whole against the public: nor will it lead to those periodic scandals and crises which the Inner Ring produces. But it will do those things which that profession exists to do and will in the long run be responsible for all the respect which that profession in fact enjoys and which the speeches and advertisements cannot maintain."
Here is the essay at the California C S Lewis Society
Pensees - spelling and punctuation mistakes and all ... I believe at least three quarters of what I say. ... And the good stuff only stays posted for an hour or two.