24 April 2017

1.     I will be kinder to other species

The Discworld is full of fantastical species - werewolves, dwarves and trolls to name a few - and in the books we see friendships blossoming between them, despite their differences and the prejudice they sometimes have to overcome. In the real world, Terry was a trustee of the Orangutan Foundation UK, and travelled to Borneo with Channel 4 to raise awareness of their plight. Both his words and his actions are a reminder that we could all take more care of our fellow Earthlings, whether they are a different species, or simply humans whose lives are different to our own.

2.     I will explore my creativity

"Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one’" – The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy

Be bold and creative in whatever way works for you, whether by creating your own art and writing, or just approaching problems in new and interestin' ways.

3.     I will keep my sense of humour

The Discworld books challenge socio-political norms whilst always retaining Terry’s trademark wit and humour, which he kept even when facing down Alzheimer’s. "My name is Terry Pratchett," he began his documentary about the illness, "at least, I think it is."

There’s always a funny side to be found, if you’re prepared to look for it.

4.     I will use my anger as a force for good

Terry was filled with rage at the injustice in the world, and used this anger to fuel his writing and campaigning. Neil Gaiman writes, in his introduction to A Slip of the Keyboard:

"He will rage, as he leaves, against so many things: stupidity, injustice, human foolishness and shortsightedness, not just the dying of the light. And, hand in hand with the anger, like an angel and a demon walking into the sunset, there is love."

There are some things that it’s worth getting angry about. But we can use our anger to change them.

5.     I will never give up and will strive to be more me

In essence, being more Terry is being more yourself, regardless of those who might tell you that you aren’t good enough. Terry’s primary school teacher told him he would amount to nothing, and he left school with no A Levels; by the end of his life, he had amassed 10 honorary doctorates, a knighthood and a professorship. His early work drew scorn from critics who could not see the value in the fantasy world he created; now his books have been translated into 38 languages and sold 85 million copies worldwide.

"If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story’"– The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents

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