4.13.2012

A to Z: Leaving Something Behind

It is the deepest desire of every writer, the one we never admit or even dare to speak of: to write a book we can leave as a legacy. And although it is sometimes easy to forget, wanting to be a writer is not about reviews or advances or how many copies are printed or sold. It is much simpler than that, and much more passionate. If you do it right, and if they publish it, you may actually leave something behind that can last forever.

ALICE HOFFMAN



Opening a book and reading the words of someone who is speaking to you across years and continents is... well, I can think of no better word than magic.  It's telepathy.  It's communicating with a person you may never see, or meet, or touch.  A person who may not have taken even a breath during your lifetime.  Writers have a chance to achieve immortality; they can go on speaking forever, waiting patiently behind bookcovers for the next curious mind to engage.

It's a tiny kind of miracle, to leave something of yourself behind like that.  The idea is huge, and heavy, and leaves me feeling small and eager.

Magic, I tell ya.



One month.  26 posts.  A to Z.  (Don't know what I'm talking about?  Check out the Challenge here.)

10 comments:

  1. It's definitely magic that symbols on a page can invoke such images and ideas and feelings in people. One can read a letter of Keats and know his most intimate hopes and doubts better than most who met him. And all from ink scrawled on paper in the silence of the night.

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  2. Touching.
    - Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
    @thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

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  3. I share your wonder at the magic!

    I'm in the second half-century of my life, and one of the ways I hope to leave ripples in the life waters behind me is by my words...

    Like even this cybercomment could live in the etherwebs for all of eternity, lol!

    Awesome post, Jes!

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    1. Welllll, THAT's a scary thought! ;)

      But seriously, I love the image of our words leaving ripples as we pass through...

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  4. Books are magical. It's something I have desparately tried to instill into my kids in this age of computer games and DVD's. If my kids are invited to a birthday party we always buy a book as a gift, our house is crammed with books of all ages, I love the smell of new books, the ink fresh from the printers and then when the book ages that old dusty smell of the magic within. Great post.

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    1. I love that you always buy books as gifts! I'm the same way - always pressing books into people's hands. When you give a book as a gift it's like you're handing over a whole world. So much better than some pointless plastic thing that they'll throw away in a year.

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  5. I still remember my kindergarden teacher holding up a book and telling us how magical and wonderful it was and to always treat it like a treasure. They are.

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