We all want to be J.K. Rowling.
The money, the fame, the ability to have millions read your words. It's the thing dreams are made of.
For me, though, my fascination with Rowling goes beyond the dollar signs and bestselling lists. It goes beyond the wizard named Harry and the magical world she creates.
J.K. Rowling's story of tenacity, persistence, and sheer magic in her real life is what keeps me writing.
I'm Not a Harry Potter Fanatic
Okay, I probably just lost a few of you, right?
Let me clarify. I love the Harry Potter books that I've read. Rowling's ability to paint a fully visible, magical world is truly awe-inspiring. Every luscious detail is fitting, every single sentence contributes to the world she's created. She makes us not just root for Harry; she makes us wish we were Harry.
That being said, I'm not the world's biggest Harry Potter Fan. I don't have wands in my closet or a full Harry Potter outfit. I have only read the first two books, and I haven't even seen the movies.
I guess I just jumped on the bandwagon too late and got left behind. I'm planning on catching up eventually.
Why the heck am I writing about J.K. Rowling then? How could she be so inspiring if I haven't even read all of her books?
It all started with my husband Chad saying, "You should see this," and then me rolling my eyes.
Magic Beyond Words
Scrolling through Netflix, one of our typical weekend hobbies, Chad came across a movie called Magic Beyond Words: the J.K. Rowling story. Chad added it to our list, and I thought nothing of it.
A few weeks later, though, I was bored to tears. I turned it on...and I was entranced.
I've now seen the Lifetime movie documenting Rowling's life three times. I've shown it in two of my classes. It is absolutely inspiring.
To see Rowling almost give up on her writing time and time again only to come back to it is so easy for me to connect with. Plus, there's the fact that she faced oodles of hurdles and failures in her writing career. The public likes to think she became a success overnight. She actually struggled many years, even finding herself on welfare before hitting it big.
I also loved how it chronicles the early years. The first author reading where only a handful of people attended...the scene where she wonders if her book will ever even be in a bookshop.
As a new writer, I can attest to the fact that the industry is tough. There are plenty of days when I feel like chucking my laptop and never putting my fingers on the keys again. There are millions of days when I doubt myself, my ability, and whether or my writing career will grow.
To see one of the most famous writers of our time deal with the same struggles is empowering.
Believe in Your Writing
Rowling shows us we must have faith in ourselves, in our writing, and in the path we are taking. It will work out as its meant to...as long as we are willing to put in the work.
Keep writing because the story calls you, just like Harry Potter called to Rowling. You never know how close you are to your own magical ending.
Recently, Rowling released some of the rejection letters she got in hopes of inspiring other writers. I think her ability to discuss and share her failures is admirable. She's willing to show just how far she's come and just how hard she's worked.
Writing success doesn't come over night. It isn't something that just comes to you. You have to keep your nose in your books, your heart on your sleeve, and just keep following your passion.