What is your legacy?
Depending on how carefully you’ve pondered that question, you might have a strong emotional response — feeling fear, satisfaction, or even deep discomfort.
As unsettling as it can be to think of a time we are no longer here, as writers we have a unique chance to shape the way we are remembered.
By creating books, we leave tangible, long-lasting records of our experiences, thoughts, and opinions. Our legacy isn’t at the mercy of how others remember us – we have the power to craft something that will outlast everyone who knew us, especially in the digital age.
While there may be a stereotype of what a writer’s personality is like, you and I both know that all types of people decide to write. We are as diverse as the books we write.
Accordingly, to celebrate and explore the impact that being an author will leave on your legacy, we’ve created twelve ’legacy identities’ that you could leave behind as a result of your writing.
For those of you who don’t ever stop and think about the lasting impact of your life, we invite you to take a few moments to do exactly that.
Who knows — you might even discover the kind of legacy you want to leave, and the motivation to write the book that guarantees it.
This guide to finding the answer to the powerful question ‘What is your legacy?' covers:
Your legacy as a Personal Pathfinder is marked by the deep introspection and self-discovery that your book promotes. It's a legacy suited for those who have navigated life's winding paths and emerged with unique insights into the self. You are the guide for others on their journey to self-awareness.
If you're looking to leave a Personal Pathfinder legacy, consider writing a memoir or a self-help book that delves into personal growth.
Elizabeth Gilbert's “Eat, Pray, Love” is an excellent example, as it explores the author's quest for self-discovery and balance, encouraging readers to embark on their own path of self-fulfillment.
Your legacy as an Inspiration Catalyst is one of energizing and motivating others to reach for their dreams and aspirations. This legacy is often left by individuals whose own achievements serve as a beacon of possibility. Your book can be the spark that lights the fire of ambition in your readers.
Write a book that shares your story of overcoming adversity or a motivational guide that offers practical steps to achieving goals.
“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, for instance, has inspired many by its tale of following one's dreams with perseverance and faith.
An Idea Immortalizer's legacy is the enduring nature of their thoughts and theories, which continue to influence long after they're gone. Thinkers, innovators, and visionaries often leave this kind of legacy. Your book will be the vessel carrying your groundbreaking ideas to future generations.
Your book should be one that presents a novel concept or philosophy, much like Yuval Noah Harari's “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” which offers a unique perspective on the history and future of our species.
As a Historical Guardian, your legacy is the preservation of history through your narrative. This legacy is ideal for those who are passionate about the past and its lessons. Your book serves as a time capsule, safeguarding the stories of yesteryears for tomorrow's readers.
To preserve this legacy, consider writing a historical account or biography.
“John Adams” by David McCullough is a compelling example, offering a window into the life of a founding father and the formation of a nation.
The Master Entertainer's legacy is to provide an escape, joy, or thrill through storytelling. This legacy belongs to those who craft worlds and experiences that captivate the imagination. Your book is a ticket to another reality for your readers.
Pen a novel that sweeps readers off their feet into an adventure or romance.
J.K. Rowling's “Harry Potter” series is a perfect illustration, transporting readers into a magical realm filled with wonder and excitement.
Your book reflects the Societal Mirror legacy by holding up a reflection of the world as it is or could be. Writers who capture the zeitgeist or challenge societal norms contribute to this legacy. Your work prompts readers to see society from a fresh perspective.
Write a book that questions or depicts societal structures, similar to George Orwell's “1984,” which mirrors and critiques the dangers of a totalitarian regime and the loss of individuality.
The legacy of a Spiritual Guide is left by those who provide direction and comfort on spiritual or existential matters. Your book can be a sanctuary for those seeking solace and meaning in the spiritual dimensions of life.
Consider writing a book on spiritual teachings or an inspirational fiction that weaves in elements of spirituality, like “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra, guiding readers to a deeper understanding of life's spiritual laws.
As a Mind Explorer, your legacy is defined by the expansion of knowledge and the exploration of intellectual frontiers. This is a path for the curious and the scholarly. Your book can be a beacon of enlightenment, ushering in new ideas and perspectives.
Write a book that dives into scientific discoveries, psychological explorations, or philosophical inquiries.
“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman is a landmark book that explores the dichotomy between two modes of thought and how they shape our judgments.
Your legacy as a Charity Trailblazer is etched by your commitment to philanthropy and social change. This legacy is ideal for those who inspire action and compassion through their works. Your book can be a catalyst for change, encouraging others to make a difference.
To trailblaze in charity through your writing, craft a book that highlights social issues and promotes activism.
“Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder, profiling the life of Dr. Paul Farmer, is an excellent example of how one person's dedication can impact global health.
Leaving a legacy as a Family Historian means you capture and immortalize the stories and heritage of your lineage. This legacy is for those who treasure the roots and branches of their family tree. Your book becomes a cherished heirloom, passing down the tales of generations.
Write a family memoir or a historical novel based on your ancestors.
“Roots: The Saga of an American Family” by Alex Haley is a profound example of tracing and celebrating one's heritage through storytelling.
The legacy of a Community Builder is left by those who foster a sense of belonging and togetherness. This legacy suits individuals who value the collective and the communal. Your book can help build bridges and unite people with common bonds.
Write a book that champions community spirit or tells the stories of a community's triumphs and struggles.
“The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, while not about a single community, illustrates how small actions can create a significant impact, which is essential for community building.
Your legacy as a Creative Disruptor will be defined by your book's ability to challenge the status quo and introduce new ways of thinking. This path is for those who dare to think differently and are not afraid to push boundaries. Your book will disrupt, innovate, and inspire.
To be a Creative Disruptor, write a book that presents a radical idea or a narrative that breaks conventional molds.
“The Handmaid's Tale” by Margaret Atwood disrupts norms by depicting a dystopian world that questions gender roles and societal structures.
What is your legacy? Are you ready to decide that once and for all?
Don't leave your legacy to the whims of memory or the telling of trivial stories.
You have the opportunity, here and now, to define how you will be remembered.
Whether it's your personal journey, a novel idea, or a story that can change the world, your book is the vessel that can carry your legacy forward through time.
Take up the pen and etch your mark on eternity.
Decide what type of book you want to be remembered for and begin the journey of writing it.
Your story matters. Your ideas matter. You matter.
Let your book be the legacy that speaks of your life, your passions, and your contributions to the world.
Write the book you want to be remembered for.