It was interesting to watch a documentary by the comedian Sir Billy Connolly, who stated that he does not fear death. He laughs a lot despite having to cope with Parkinson’s disease and a degenerative brain condition, and considers old age (he is 75) as an adventure which will prepare him for the spirit world.
He feels his life is slipping away, but he’s not frightened. Instead he finds it ‘interesting’ to witness his decline and to how bits of him and his talents are slowly disappearing.
“It’s as if I’m being prepared for something, some other adventure, which is over the hill. I’ve got all this stuff to lose first, and then I’ll be at the shadowy side of the hill doing the next episode in the spirit world.”
What a wonderful way to look at old age and its declining faculties! Sir Billy is also grateful for having ‘made his mark’ in life with his creative talents, and states that this achievement is a great companion in his old age.
Yes, it must be very satisfying to know you have ‘made your mark’ in life, so to speak. It occurred to me that we authors are also trying to do exactly the same thing, but with books instead of comic genius. Unfortunately there are many more authors than comedians, and so to gain literary recognition is a somewhat longer process for us, if it happens at all in our lifetime. Sir Billy has the luck to be both a comedian and a traditionally published author, and so…yes… he has certainly made his mark and should be proud of his efforts.
So… my question for writers is this: Do you as a self-published author feel you have still ‘made your mark’ even if you never find an agent or that big publishing deal?
I for one think that yes, I have still made a small stamp on the world with my books. They’re out there in the world, people on the whole get pleasure from reading them, and although I may not sell as many as Sir Billy, people do buy them.
And what of those who do not have creative talents? How do they make their mark? With some it might be satisfying to know that their children will live on and remember them. Others may possess sporting talents or be a mathematical wizard for instance. Whatever the speciality, we generally like to know that our lives have been worth something and that we will not be forgotten.