Want to be a writer but feeling despondent? JK Rowling is here for you

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Amy Swales
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The Twitter feed of JK Rowling is a constant source of delight, amusement and comfort.

Doling out virtual hugs to fans, ridiculing body-shaming trolls, handing Piers Morgan his ass on a plate – the Harry Potter author has pretty much got the social media side of things nailed.

And given that she’s one of the most successful writers of recent times, with hundreds of millions of book sales globally, it’s always a joy to see her share any words of wisdom with those of us nursing a creative idea (while sullenly suspecting that it’s not quite the seminal masterpiece we hoped would set the literary/film/TV/theatre world alight and thus finding it a struggle to even start).

Rowling took to Twitter this week after being inspired by fellow writer Melanie Dione’s message of encouragement to budding doers and makers, which read: “HEY! YOU! You’re working on something and you’re thinking ‘Nobody’s gonna watch, read, listen.’ Finish it anyway.”

Retweeting the post, Rowling wrote: “There were so many times in the early 90s when I needed somebody to say this to me. It’s great advice for many reasons.”

She went on to drive home that all creative endeavours are worth pursuing, even if they’re doomed to a life in your desk drawer, writing: “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.”

The rest of her thread reads: “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 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 (all of which will now be of more interest to your audience.)”

She also endorsed a number of other gems of advice on writing, including another post from Dione reading: “I write because I'm a writer. Not because I am/am not/will be/will not be famous. And if you're a creator, you should create too.”

And this from James Rhodes: “It's so much about just digging deep and doing it rather than waiting for 'inspiration' isn't it?”

She’s helped out a budding writer on Twitter before, telling a fan to not let “laughter extinguish your ambition”.

So don’t give up – JK Rowling's on your side.

Images: Rex Features


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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.