May 28, 2015 in Dag

I feel like I’ve actually left a mark

Something hit me the other day.

I was trawling my brain to come up with an idea for something wise and witty (or maybe even both) to throw out on Twitter – another example of the Champagne Twitter I talked about last week. One of the ideas I had was that through my writing I felt like I’d made a mark, albeit a rather odd-shaped mark, on the world.

So I chucked it out onto the heaving mass of Twitter. I few people saw it. Some actually favourited it. I might even have gotten one or two retweets. Can’t really ask for much more as far as Twitter is concerned.

But then I thought about it a bit more. Maybe, unlike most of the stuff I post up on Twitter (bubbly or not) it wasn’t such a throwaway comment. Maybe there was actually something quite significant about it.

Because, hey, I have left a mark. Maybe it’s not a particularly big one. Maybe it’s not a particularly significant one. Maybe it is, as I said in the tweet, a rather odd-shaped one. But it’s still a mark, nonetheless.

After all, how many people have gotten even one book published. Hell, I’ve now got a few. I’ve got two novels, my rather odd fantasy, Magnus Opum, and my rather odd detective thriller A Fate Worse than Death. I’ve even got a rather odd picture book as well, Thomas and the Tiger-Turtle, and there are more on the way. Plus I’ve got my odd collection of Neville Lansdowne novellas, Doodling, Scribbling and Scrawling.

Okay, so maybe I can’t quite compare myself to some of my writing heroes. Maybe I’ve got a fair way to go before I’ve left a mark anywhere as significant as Tolkien, or Douglas Adams, or the Monty Python crew. But everyone’s gotta start somewhere.

So even though my mark is pretty scanty when looked at this way, it’s still something that I feel pretty proud about. If I should happen to fall under a bus tomorrow (which I definitely have no plans to do) people can look at those books and say, “Look at that, he’s leaving something behind.”

In the meantime, I have no plans to stop just yet. My focus is to make sure that mark continues to grow bigger and deeper. I may never get to match my heroes, but I’m going to have a lot of fun trying.

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Jim Murdoch May 31, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Beckett described this quite beautifully. He talked about a “stain on the silence”. I don’t think any of us would continue if we didn’t think what we were working on had the chance to mean something to someone even those of us who maintain we only write for ourselves. That we may do but we’re also well aware that other will read what we’ve written and it never hurts to learn a couple of lines we’ve written—and it’s rarely much more than that—has got under someone’s skin. I always think about the old Greeks. Look any one of them up in a book of quotes and a lifetime’s work will have been reduced to a few words or, in the case of Archimedes, a single word.

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Jonathan Gould June 1, 2015 at 3:14 am

Hi Jim,

I think I like the idea of a mark better than a stain.

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