‘I always have a basic plot outline, but I like to leave some things to be decided while I write’. – J.K.Rowling
The good news is that if J.K.Rowling doesn’t need to have it all figured out before starting to write, then neither do we.
Sometimes, as writers, we put so much pressure on ourselves to have everything just right that we forget about the joy and value of spontaneity. Being spontaneous can be exciting, and this can show in our writing. It can ignite a spark that fizzes up from inside us with passion and verve, allowing us to write in a way that we might never have otherwise been able to.
Planning everything down to the last detail can stop that happening. It can make us like a caged bird. Rigid in its thinking and actions, either unable or unwilling to think outside of the cage. Never deviating from its course no matter what opportunities arise to do so.
Leaving some things to be decided while you write like J.K.Rowling does can be more exciting. The words can flow in a more fluid fashion, making them seem more vivid or real, enhancing your writing and guiding it to new heights, and how great would that be?
‘Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve’. – J.K.Rowling
J.K.Rowling was so right! Anything really is possible if you’ve got enough nerve.
It may really be possible to do the impossible if only we have enough courage to just go ahead and do it anyway despite the risks.
We can so often talk ourselves out of something which might be great for our writing because we think that it won’t be good enough, or we will be judged negatively. But in reality it probably wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad as we think. Plus it might actually get a great reaction, and that opportunity would be missed if we didn’t have the nerve to try!
Why not get brave and try something new with your writing every month? Even if it is to just write a letter to a magazine, or a poem for a friend. The smile on their face when they read it would be so worth the effort.
‘I always felt an outsider’. – J.K.Rowling
Writers can often feel that they don’t belong in so many ways. It could be from the wonderful voices that some hear telling them the way forward with a story.
It could also be because they can spend so any hours alone in what may be self imposed silence. It could even be the annoying tune that they play on a loop which helps them to write.
Or perhaps that they go to a cafe to write and only mumble one word answers to anyone who speaks to them because they just want to be left alone to write.
A writer can often feel like an outsider because nobody seems to get them. A writer who has someone that does in their life, is a very lucky one.
Imagine going through your whole life feeling that you don’t quite belong. It’s tough. But we just have to get on with it.
We need to celebrate our uniqueness and thrive because of it. Revel in the fact that you are different, and become stronger because of it.
‘You’ve got to be prepared for hitting wrong notes occasionally, or quite a lot. That’s just part of the learning process’. – J.K.Rowling
If we were learning an instrument we wouldn’t constantly chide ourselves if we hit the wrong note occasionally, so why do we do this to ourselves as writers?
I love it when I make a mistake because I learn so much from it. It might not feel good at the time, but it really is.
Our whole lives since we were born have been full of try, fail, and try again days. They made us who we are. They formed every part of us. They gave us content for our writing, and also unique experiences which helped to form our own character.
All of these things mean that wrong notes are right notes in so many ways. Be thankful for them and learn from them.
‘As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters’. – J.K.Rowling
Writing can be something which is easily put off until another day. If J.K.Rowling had decided not to write Harry Potter until some time later it might never have happened. We can so easily waste large chunks of our lives because we put things off, promising ourselves that we will do them tomorrow. But in a lot of cases tomorrow never comes.
If we want to make our lives good then doesn’t that mean that we want to at least reach one of our writing goals?
It is easy to think that we have all the time in the world, especially when we are young. But the truth is that we haven’t. Time goes by so quickly that it is almost shameful to waste it.
If we want to make our writing lives good then we need to make a positive effort to get on with it. And there is no greater time to start than today!
‘The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive’. – J.K.Rowling
Many writers get negative comments, and some even get internet trolls who can make things more difficult. I have had both.
The truth is that they will never beat me, and you shouldn’t let them beat you either. I ignore nasty comments and don’t let them get under my skin. It is a conscious choice that I make. Not always easy, but one that I do.
I know that it is not always that simple. But, in a way, nasty people are not making us fade into obscurity or to sit in the corner totally dejected and unable to face the world. They are actually making us stronger, which is the opposite of how they intended to make us feel. They can help rather than hinder us.
How? Well, because each time a writer walks right on past a negative or abusive comment, they are walking right on towards their future. Right on towards their destiny. To the place they were meant to be all along. Once you have done that, you can be sure in your ability to survive, and you can then concentrate on your writing.
‘You control your own life. Your own will is extremely powerful’. – J.K.Rowling
Having control of your own life is a blessing. Yet it is something which some us either don’t want because of the amount of responsibility that it brings, or which we seem to have no idea how to accomplish.
A writer’s life can be so busy that it seems difficult to fit it all in. This is especially so if you are writing around your day job, family, and other commitments.
But the beauty of it is that we have our own free will. That means that we can decide what we will do, and when we will do it. Even if we have a day job we can choose to write in our tea and lunch breaks, or when we are sat on the train on our way to and from work.
Your will can be really powerful. The trouble with this is that it can try to lead you in the wrong direction. One which is easier and less problematic.
The easier way is often not the best way. So be aware of your will and learn to pull it back sharply when it leads you too far away from your desired writing life. Stay determined, use its power to fuel your ambition, and you will thrive.
‘It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be’. – J.K.Rowling
We weren’t all born with a silver spoon in our mouths affording us a life where we can just write all day. But, we all have the opportunity to write, and to make the most of what we have.
Nobody is born with ten bestselling books to their name. But we can all have a chance of at least one book doing well.
The point is that we are what we make ourselves to be. Yes, if you are born in certain countries or areas this may be easier. But it seems that those who are born with a roof over their heads and enough food to eat may not actually have the hunger that those who are less fortunate do.
The people that I know personally who have truly lived their lives and done well, are those who were much poorer at the start, and seemingly had much less opportunity than other people that I know. They fought because they wanted their lives to get better.
These people were the ones who wanted to grow. They wanted to achieve no matter what it took. One is on her way to having her 5th book published. She puts her heart and soul into every single word that she writes. Her books ooze warmth and kindness, yet they are not about having an easy life. What they are about it never giving up if you want to grow into someone special. Someone who reaches their dreams despite the obstacles.
‘You’ve got to work. It’s about structure. It’s about discipline. It’s all these deadly things that your schoolteacher told you you needed… You need it’. – J.K.Rowling
At school we had set deadlines for a piece of work or homework to be completed. But after school, we seem to have our whole lives to write that one poem, book, script, or article.
Some work much better to a deadline. When you are finally getting somewhere with your writing you may have an editor who gives you those much needed deadlines. In that case deadlines can be a blessing. They can make us work much harder. To write many more words than we might ever have without them.
If you are making it in the writing world on your own it can be much tougher. You may get just as far, even further in fact, but by having to make self imposed deadlines. These might be easier to break unless you are extremely strong. To put off until tomorrow.
However, when we write we need to have a steely determination to get anywhere. We have to work. Each and every time we put off writing in favour of doing something less important, we let our writer self down.
We have to have discipline and be almost ruthless on our path. To put in place some sort of structure, even if this only means writing for ten minutes a day. Then to go on and put aside ten minutes more, until we are writing for an hour a day or even longer.
There will never be a substitute for hard work if we want to reach our writing goals.
Thanks to J.K.Rowling for showing us the way!