In a series of tweets ― inspired by one from Beauty Jackson, a podcast host and blogger with a sizable Twitter following ― Rowling encouraged creatives to never give up on their passion projects, even if the odds of success seem insurmountable.
Here’s the original tweet, which Rowling quoted:
In a long thread, she extols the value of finishing work even if it never finds an audience, the lessons learned by persevering in creating art, and the importance of remembering that success is not a true measure of quality.
Easy for her to say, right? If every struggling author eventually had a smash-hit debut novel that left them multi-millionaires, if not billionaires, then, well, money would probably cease to have much meaning.
It’s been well-documented how winding, and often difficult, a path Rowling took to superstardom ― a single mother who’d worked for Amnesty International and taught English in Portugal, she found herself scraping by to support her daughter in Edinburgh on state benefits while she toiled on her Harry Potter manuscript and trained to teach. After all that hard work, the book was rejected somewhere between “loads” and “12” times by publishers before Bloomsbury took a chance on the magic of Hogwarts.
And, to be clear, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone wasn’t her first novel. She wrote her first book at 6 years old; it was about a rabbit.
The point is, creating stuff ― whole-cloth, out of your brain ― is difficult, and it can be exhausting. It’s especially exhausting when your work isn’t appreciated, after all the thankless hours you invested in it. But if you’re really determined and you believe in yourself, maybe you just need a solid pep talk to carry you through the tough times ― and J.K. Rowling always serves the good stuff.
By Claire Fallon