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Monday, May 13, 2019

Pratchett: A Writer for the Ages

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” – Terry Pratchett

Born in April 1948, Pratchett died four years ago from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, but not before producing over 100 books, including 41 in his much-lauded “Discworld Series.”

A journalist first, he said journalistic writing shaped his career.  “Journalism makes you think fast,” he said.  “(And) You have to speak to people in all walks of life.  Especially when you do local journalism.”   As a one-time “local journalist” myself, I agree.  It’s a remarkable way to learn how to study people and the world around you, and to set and keep deadlines.  You need to quickly knock out a story’s first draft so that you have a foundation from which to build your final piece.  Great training for any creative writer. 
                Knighted for his contributions to the literary world, Pratchett wrote more than 100 books and short story collections.  He holds the record as the U.K.’s best-selling 1990s author and has been second only to J.K Rowling for books sold in the 2000s.  In addition to receiving dozens of writing awards he was presented 10 honorary degrees.

One of Britain’s most benevolent authors, Pratchett donated millions toward fighting poverty, disease, and animal abuse.  “It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes,” he wrote. “It is, in fact, true.  It’s called living.”

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