I stumbled across this video the other day and it’s the most encouraging thing I’ve seen in a long time. It helps that this is J.K. Rowling for starters (and most things she has to say are inspirational), but also, when this footage was taken back in 1998, she was pretty much exactly where I am today. She had just sold her second book (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and was part way through writing her third (which is exactly what I’m doing at the moment) and she was overwhelmed and amazed by everything happening around her.
“This has all come as a huge, enormous shock. I’m delighted because I always wanted to write, and always have written, but my realistic side had not allowed me to dream of half of what’s happened to me, truthfully.”
Granted, I’m not J.K. Rowling (news flash!), but still, there are many similarities that I can relate to, at least from her account of where she was at the time this was taken. It gives me hope that my writing future just might turn out somewhat like the fairytale she’s experienced. Anything is possible!
For any writers out there, aspiring, emerging, or established, let this be encouragement for you as well!
Oh, and one final thing: in my last blog post, I wrote about writing fears. Because of that, I found it doubly encouraging when I watched this video only to hear J.K. Rowling herself say this regarding her initial, surprising success:
“… It scared the hell out of me, truthfully. It really scared me. I was halfway through the second book and I became blocked and panic-stricken… I became very self-conscious about what I was writing. But I did get over that. It took about a month to relax again and sort of force myself to believe I was just writing for me again. And I did. And I’m now very happy with book two. But it shocked me. Now I’m more relaxed about it.”
This once again reiterates just how important it is for us writers to remember to write, first and foremost, because we love it—and not to get caught up in what we presume people will expect to read. Because, just like J.K. Rowling discovered, that is a lot of pressure to put on ourselves. Instead, we simply have to relax and enjoy the journey, remembering why we started writing in the first place!
On that happy note, sit back and be encouraged by the queen of fantasy fiction herself!