It took 12 rejections from publishing houses for JK Rowling to finally get Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone to print. Now, 20 years later, the author, who is touted as being richer than the Queen, has revealed the advice she wished she had been given back when she was struggling writer.
Responding to a post from aspiring writer Melanie Dione, Rowling spent the next eight tweets urging her 10 million-plus followers not to give up on their dreams no matter how difficult the path seems to get. "HEY! YOU! You're working on something and you're thinking "Nobody's gonna watch, read, listen." Finish it anyway," Dione, who uses the Twitter handle @beauty_jackson posted on 3 April.
Rowling later responded to the post, explaining how she wished someone would have said the same thing to here back in the early 90s. "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," she added. "And by the way, just because it didn't find an audience, that doesn't mean it's bad work."
Venturing to offer more advice in what she joked was her Twitter "sermon", she explained that even if a project doesn't find success, the discipline involved in finishing it is something worth taking pride in.
"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," the 51-year-old wrote. "That is an extraordinarily empowering piece of knowledge. So do not ever quit out of fear of rejection."
Having lived the rags to riches story herself, The Casual Vacancy author explained that it could take a few tries before a creative work finds its mark. "Maybe your third, fourth, fiftieth song/novel/painting will be the one that 'makes it', that wins the plaudits... but you'd never have got there without finishing the others."