I is for Icarus
Icarus is a cautionary tale. Father Daedalus builds wings of feathers and wax to fly with – warns son, don’t go too close to the sun. Son flies too close and falls to the earth after his wings melt. Usually connected to the term hubris. Also connected to the term Icarus Complex (Psychiatry – A constellation of mental conflicts, the degree of which reflects the imbalance between a person’s desire for success, achievement, or material goods, and the ability to achieve those goals; the greater the gap between the idealized goal and reality, the greater the likelihood of failure.)
Sometimes I feel writers, all of us, are like Icarus, testing out our wings of wax and feathers, flying as close to sun as we can. The difference is our failures (those manuscripts we gave up on, or move on from, or let go of because we realized they just weren’t good enough – I have three of them that sit in my closet staring at me when I open the door and wondering if, when, I will go back to them, please, they say – take me out again!) we learn from and grow stronger from because we tried to see if they would fly. Testing out my work in the market place is the way for me to see if the wings are strong enough this time. If not, perhaps I just need to go back to the workshop and build better wings?
Notice when you’ve built better wings. It will carry you through the times the wings aren’t built good enough, cushion you on the nasty falls.
Somewhat off topic, but I watched Midnight in Paris last night, and though some of the characters are caricatures, because it’s a Woody Allen film, it was still a fascinating take on writing.
April 10, 2012 at 7:58 am
inspiring analogy! i need a few wing repairs…
April 10, 2012 at 9:45 am
Oh. This just made me happy. You learn a lot when you fly too close to the sun, for true.
April 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm