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Secrets to life-long creativity from writers who lasted

What we can learn from authors’ obituaries.

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I always thought it was slightly morbid that my mother read obituaries so eagerly. “I love to see what people did with their lives,” she liked to say. “The big picture, the final statement, the failures, successes, and quirks.”

Now that I’ve reached a certain age, I find myself trolling the obituary page myself, like Benjamin Franklin, who said he checked those listings first thing every morning: “If my name is not on it, I get up.”

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