Terminal Writing

25 Feb


If you are like me, you may find the phrase, “Live like you are dying,” cliché and uninspiring.

But like any popular slogan, there is a ring of truth to it.

Not to be all dark and gloomy, but the reality is we are all dying. 

Our time on this planet is so short.

So, go with me for a moment to that raw, stripped-down, emotional frame of mind where you know your days are numbered.

What would you want to tell the world with your last breath?

What would be inscribed on your tombstone?

What is the one message you want to leave behind?

Write like that.

This is how you find your voice. 




Write as if you were dying.

At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients.

That is after all, the case.

What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon?

What would you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?

Annie Dillard, The Writing Life


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