Thursday, September 29, 2011

September Theme: Transformation is the Word by Jennifer Cervantes

There have been intriguing and engaging posts this month on changes in the industry and as I thought about what I might add, I realized it had all been said so well. But one thing that stayed with me after I read each of the changes we are facing as authors is that everything is in constant flux—life is changing every millisecond all around us. Yet we too often resist it, uncomfortable with the unknown waiting on the horizon whether it be professional or personal.

Ironically, change has been a constant for as long as humans have occupied this planet and likewise, we have feared it in large and small doses. Socrates warned that writing would “Create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls.” Doctors in the late 1800’s argued that excessive study led to madness. Radio, TV, and computers have all been touted as harmful to IQ. Yet in hindsight, each of these advances have had lasting effects and somehow the word Change feels too small: these were transformations. What will people say about the e-reader fifty years from now? How will the organizational structure of publishing shift? What role will self-publishing play? We can’t know the answers to these questions, but there is something exciting about going along for the ride—to see the transformations firsthand. I love this quote by C.S. Lewis and keep it near my desk where I can be reminded of the value and importance of transformation:

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”

I think I’d like to learn to fly… even if it means falling.

1 comment:

  1. So true, Jen! Change *is* hard but I agree with you and Clive--better to hatch and see what's out there.