Steve Legg: “I chose to get busy writing”

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Extract from the Prologue of The Last Laugh by Steve Legg: It’s the film most often voted number one in the top-ten movies of all time by viewers and critics alike. I’m talking about The Shawshank Redemption. You will almost certainly be familiar with it, so I don’t need to say any more than that it’s a story based on one of Stephen King’s tales about prisoners who leave their mark on the institutions in which they’re incarcerated. In the case of Shawshank (as it’s affectionately known), the film focuses on a man called Andy (Tim Robbins) who is wrongfully arrested, charged, sentenced, and then imprisoned for the murder of his wife and her lover. In prison, his life is improved by the formation of a friendship with Red (Morgan Freeman). In many ways, Shawshank is a buddy movie, and part of its appeal is its celebration of an unlikely friendship between two men – one white, the other black. There are so many famous quotes in Shawshank, some of which have entered our everyday vocabulary. One of the best-known and loved is the word of wisdom uttered by Andy and remembered later by his friend Red, which goes something like this: “We all have a choice. We have to 24 get busy doing one of two things: living or dying.”

I would also add laughing or crying here. If you’re going to busy yourself with living, then busy yourself with laughing as well. That’s the choice every inmate of Shawshank State Prison has. They can either choose to accept the situation and find ways to live rather than merely exist, to thrive rather than merely survive, or they can give in to the despair that surrounds them on every side, like the walls of their cells. Andy chooses to busy himself with living. As does Red. This book is about the two-year journey I’ve been on since I received that initial news, then that the cancer had spread to multiple locations in my body, and later that I had only five months to live. That was a kind of sentence. Some of you may think it was a death sentence. Later in this book, I’ll tell you otherwise. I chose to get busy living, not dying. I chose to get busy laughing, not crying. And I also chose to get busy writing.

The Last Laugh by Steve Legg will launch on December 1st 2023 and is available to pre-order here: The Last Laugh – Son Christian Media Ltd (square.site)

Main Photo Credit: Courtesy of SCM

Steve Legg

Steve is a British speaker, author and founder of The Breakout Trust, a Christian mission organisation based in Littlehampton on the south coast of England. Since 1988 he has travelled the length and breadth of the UK and 30 countries overseas, covering a staggering 1.5 million miles on the road, using a crazy mix of comedy, trickery and mystery to communicate the Christian message to young and old. He has performed at top venues globally including NIA Birmingham, Wembley Arena and London’s Royal Albert Hall. Radio and TV appearances are in the hundreds. His passion is creative communication of the Christian faith through performances, books, DVD’s and other resources. The author of 17 books, these days when he’s not on the road, much of his time is spent on the groundbreaking men’s Christian lifestyle magazine, Sorted.
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Sorted discusses the big issues of the day – focusing on subjects as diverse as culture, sport, cars, health, faith, gadgets, humour and relationships. We aim to be positive and wholesome in all we do. And we have been achieving this since 2007.

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