JK Rowling Was Afraid of Failure…Until She Did

I love JK Rowling. Love all her work. Love all her speeches. She is such an inspiration. I even toil and triumph at my keyboard under her words, pasted in vinyl on the wall in my office:

“It is not our abilities that show us what we truly are; it is our choices.”

I like the quote not only because it has a great message, but also because it demonstrates the proper use of a semi-colon, a punctuation mark that makes me nervous every time I attempt to use it in my own writing.

I found her Harvard address the other day when I was researching a post for a client. I watched it in its entirety, twice. Did I mention I just love her? I think her advice her is excellent for anyone who is afraid to fail. She explains that she was terrified to fail, so much so that she didn’t even pursue her writing, for which she had a passion all her life. But ironically, it wasn’t until she had failed at her other pursuits, the practical ones she had hammered out through compromise with her concerned parents, that she finally gave herself a chance.  She is candid about the fact that it took failure to get her to try. In fact, one quote I really liked was:

“Rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Here is the entire speech. I highly recommend that you watch it. It might inspire you to try:

Just. Love. Her.

Being a writer is one of those things that is in your blood. No matter who you are or what kind of stories you tell, you either are a writer or your not. I believe that any of us who call ourselves writers need to believe that we have a story to tell. But we don’t have to hit rock bottom to tell it. Write your story. Start today.

Because not trying is the biggest failure of all.

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