Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In Pursuit of the Sun

Nothing but golden wings.
Golden hopes and golden dreams.
Icarus.

He died, right?

He flew too close to the sun and paid for his youthful folly with his life. He ignored the sage advice of his father and allowed his man-made wings to lift him into the air, far higher than he should ever have gone.

His story is full of parental advice - all things in moderation, listen to your parents, do what I say or the sun will melt your feathers and you'll fall into the sea.

But the children don't listen, they never listen, and generation after generation gain their wings and look up to the sun. Is this folly or foresight? Destiny or self-destruction? What's the difference?

We are not meant to be a generation of Minotaurs, bound to the ground, caged in a Labyrinth of despair, and blinded forever from the light of the sky. We are Daedalus and Icarus, and we were meant to fly.

The aspiring authors of this generation are facing challenges never seen before. A "post-paper" world is becoming not only possible, but probable. A digital war rages between traditional and self-publishing companies, and the supporters of those companies. The future of publishing is in flux right now.

In this world, we must fight to succeed. We have two options- take the "safe" route, flying not too high and not too low, and eventually we may make it to our destination. Or we can gather our strength and fly towards the sun, expend all our effort in one great burst of power, regardless of what the "realists" say.

Yes, if we fly into the sun the heat will melt our wings and we will fall into the sea. But would you rather be Icarus, reaching out for glory, or Daedalus, the grieving father who sank slowly into mourning for his beloved son, until the once-great inventor lost his skill from grief? Would you rather strive for glory and die in the attempt, or slip peacefully into death at the end of a long and uneventful life?

They say we cannot fly, that we should not try. They say the market is jaded, that all authors who manage to make money are sellouts. They say you can't become great anymore because all the greats are dead and gone.

They say we cannot reach the sun. I say, why shouldn't we try?

4 comments:

  1. This is a really cool lesson and thought provoking piece.

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    1. Thank you. 'Thought-provoking' was exactly what I was going for. :)

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  2. I agree with Josh. I thought it beautifully written too. And inspiring. Fly to the sun! :D

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    1. Thanks! May you have an inspiring flight. ^_^

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