I am currently reading ‘The Oxford Book of Essays’ as I fancied a bit of a change to my normal reading habits. I expected to be entertained, informed and my knowledge widened. I didn’t realise just how effected I would be by reading them.
The essays in this book date back to the 17th Century, and I haven’t got that far through the book yet. But the one thing that struck me as I read, is that these people who are writing and being written about are becoming alive for me. I was never much of a history fan as dates and names pretty much leave me staring blankly at a wall in panic. Reading the words of those who lived then, though, that is a completely different experience. I can imagine I really am among that society, in that time – seeing and hearing everything going on about me.
While this is amazing and incredible, it also shows just how important words are. Obviously I already know this (hello, I’m a writer!) but it’s always good to be truly reminded of the power of words. Words can invoke any feeling, words can change a person. The words we are writing now may one day be read as an account of this period of time (I can dream). And that is why I try and make every word I write the truth of who I am and where I am. I want to use the power of words to change the world. I want my words to be remembered and, by extension, be remembered myself.
This may seem completely selfish but isn’t that what everybody wants? To leave some sort of legacy? To prove we did exist? For me, words are my answer, but even if they were never read I would continue to write as every word I write effects the writer just as much (if not more) than the reader. My words make me who I am. The words left by those in history are what is left of them and when I go, I hope my words will show who I was and show what I believed in.
How do you hope to be remembered?