JK Rowling – Champion of Failure

I adore this speech! I went into this adoring JK Rowling’s work, but I came out of it adoring HER as a person. Her wisdom around the value of failure has been so pivotal to me. It really is food for writers’ souls.

She’s actually become a sort of internal Champion to me inside my head. I think about her before anyone had read a word of hers, and she’s day dreaming about Quiddich rules and trying to manage as an empoverished single mother. It’s horrid, but I imagine her having a dark night of the soul at this point. You know, the ones that all writers have when they become convinced that the work that they’re doing is utter crap and that they are indeed not writers, but fools.

So my younger JK has this experience, and I can hear her kids crying and I can picture the blank page in front of her and I can feel her exhaustion and depression and I freeze frame. Here, I get on her shoulder like a little angel and I whisper to her.

“It’s ok sweetheart. You’re just tired. Today was just a crap day. That doesn’t have anything to do with how important your work is. Your stories really are brilliant and it’s ok that you can’t see that right now. Take a break, take care of yourself and your kids, but don’t waste time on doubt. The moment you start wondering if you work has value: stop! Of course it does! And the value is not in the future sales that you WILL indeed have. It’s not even in the fans and the viral traveling that these stories will do. The value is in the fact that you feel compelled to create this, and that you are answering that call. Bravo to you for saying yes to the gift that you have been given.”

And then the last step is to realise that I’m not only talking to my Champion, who of course was a writer long before her first publication, but to all of us who feel the pull to look closer and unpack meaning and create something.

Making things is scary, but we should all do it anyway. Why? Because being drawn to something has great value, all on its own.

[bctt tweet=”Making things is scary, but we should all do it anyway.”]

By | 2015-02-26T07:20:46+00:00 February 8th, 2015|Life & Other Nonsense, Writing Process|

One Comment

  1. […] Michele: It was long before my first publication, which I think is important. I saw this great speech by JK Rowling about her struggle to become an author and I could suddenly picture her, a single mother, very poor, and writing like crazy. I pictured her mapping out the rules for Quidditch and having her kids wake up and cry and thinking to herself, “What the hell am I doing? Who cares about any of this nonsense?” You know she must have had moments like that at some point, and with this outside objective perspective, I could clearly see that she was an author long before she published anything. Using her as my personal Champion really helped me with feeling like I had any dibs on a daunting title like ‘Author.’ You can see her speech and more about this here, if it’s of interest. http://michelefogal.com/jk-rowling-champion-failure/ […]

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