Wise Words for Writers: Legacy and Benjamin Franklin

Writers are known for having vision.  All of the new and unpublished writers I have ever know are no exception.  Generally, though, the new writers in particular have a shared vision which is  something like this:  A number one best seller followed by a string of successes and a continuous following for generations into the future.  You might call it the Jane Austin syndrome.

Sadly, few if any will achieve that goal – if indeed it is a goal and not just an idle dream.

Still, it suggests the question:  “How would you like to be remembered?”

One friend said, “I would like to BE remembered.”  Another suggested this:  “What would you have them carve on your tombstone?”  Think about it.  Final words.

Famous author?  Saint?  Nobody in particular?

Personally, I am leaning toward the phrase, “Finally Thinking Inside the Box.”

But you know, there are two ways to be remembered.  One of my favorite people of all time captured that thought very well.

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.  –Benjamin Franklin

Of course, he did both.  Not a bad legacy.  We are living in it.

I might add only this idea to what Franklin said:  Find someone who did things worth writing about and write about those things.  Then again, this world could use more doing in certain quarters, but that is all I am going to say about that. 

Instead, let me end where I began.  Writers are known for having vision, but many writers might better be described as those who dream dreams.  That’s okay.  That is Biblical:

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my spirit on all People.  Your sons and daughters will prophecy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. (Acts 2:17, NIV).

There is nothing wrong with visions and dreams, only here is my suggestion and the reason for bringing it up in the first place:  Don’t spend your time and energy dreaming.  Spend it instead pursuing the dream.  Don’t waste your life with idle thoughts about the future.  Focus on the present and what you are doing whether that is doing or writing about doing. 

I believe if you truly strive to accomplish your dream/vision/goal, the legacy will take care of itself.  Then all you have to decide is what to have them carve on your tombstone.

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