The Legacy Thing

Every way of life brings the opportunity to leave a legacy. But writing offers more than most. 

That little thought was sparked by a cute, cute, cute experience walking along my dear River Exe this week - 

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Some new born cygnets, the first of the season, were getting a breakfasting lesson from mum and dad. Even grumpy old me had to smile. 

But aside from our families, I've often heard writers say the legacy they're most proud of leaving is their books. 

They can last for many years after we're gone, and bring new entertainments and insights to the generations which follow our own. 

That's a tempting argument, which I've got some sympathy with. 

But... 

For me, the real legacy of my writing is the opportunity it's brought me to teach and pass on what I've learnt. 

Whether it's the youngsters who have found careers in journalism with the help of my guidance. Or the writers who have got themselves published after the input of my help. 

Sure, it produces a smile to see my books in a library, shop, or being read by a traveller on a train.

But even more rewarding is the email, or call, full of joy, from a former student delighting in taking the first steps into a new and exciting world. 

That's a much more tangible and joyful legacy for me.