’ In case you’ve been living on a distant planet for the last almost 20 years, allow me to introduce you to J. K. Rowling: author, Twitterer, and Queen of England*.
’ ’ She achieved crazy international success back in 1997 after her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published. You might have heard of it IDK.’ ’ Before that, though, she was a struggling writer living alone in Edinburgh with her baby daughter and relying on state benefits.
Since becoming successful, she’s been incredibly vocal about those struggles.’ ’ And this morning she took to Twitter to share advice with any aspiring writer going through similar struggles — or any struggles at all.’ ’ She went on to explain that, even if a particular piece of work doesn’t find an audience, the things you learn while creating it will be invaluable to you in the future.
’ ’ And that just because something doesn’t find commercial (or critical) success, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proud of it!’ ’ “Once you’ve done it, you’ll know you can do it again,” she wrote. “So do not ever quit out of fear of rejection. ”’ ’ She finished off with a very important point: Once you’ve achieved success (no matter how late in the game) ~all~ of your work will become more attractive to your audience.
’ ’ So there you have it, aspiring artists. Some incredibly important words of wisdom from the queen herself.’ ’ And if you ever feel bad about your work, just imagine how the eight publishers who rejected the first Harry Potter book must feel now.
’ ’ Thanks for the wise words, J. K.! ’] Even if it isn’t the piece of work that finds an audience, it will teach you things you could have learned no other way.
(And by the way, just because it didn’t find an audience, that doesn’t mean it’s bad work.) The discipline involved in finishing a piece of creative work is something on which you can truly pride yourself. You’ll have turned yourself from somebody who’s ’thinking of’ who ’might’ who’s ’trying’ to someone who DID.
And once you’ve done it. ..
you’ll know you can do it again. That is an extraordinarily empowering piece of knowledge. So do not ever quit out of fear of rejection.
Maybe your third, fourth, fiftieth will be the one that ’makes it’ that wins the plaudits. ..
but you’d never have got there without finishing the others (all of which will now be of more interest to your audience.) .