Author of the acclaimed and treasured Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, has an incredible story of adversity and triumph. The first instalment of Harry Potter was written when J.K. was at the lowest period of her life. The traumatic death of her Mother, a breakdown of a tumultuous marriage, single-parenthood and a battle with depression couldn’t hold her back from achieving well deserved literary success. With 8 Harry Potter books and films along with countless other fictional works J.K Rowling has become perhaps the most famous writer of the twenty-first century. The universe she created has been read about all over the world and achieved unprecedented commercial success. As writers what can we learn from J.K. Rowling.    

“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”

Life is about the journey not the destination, where we end up at the end of our life is largely irrelevant. If we have had a good life we will be happy in our later years if we don’t push ourselves to achieve in our endeavours we will be filled with regret. Quality of life is always more important than the quantity. Life is like a story it’s about the journey. 

“You’ve got to work. It’s about structure. It’s about discipline. It’s all these deadly things that your school teacher told you you needed… You need it.”

Sticking to a schedule and working independently with your own motivations is key to success. There is no substitute for hard work, organisation and discipline. Regardless of our plotlines, our characters or our ideas we all have we need to work hard at them to make them successful, there are no shortcuts in life.  

“I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s to be ashamed of? I went through a really rough time and I am quite proud that I got out of that.”

Our lowest points do not define us. Overcoming struggle and bleak periods in our lives are invaluable experiences that we should be proud of. Overcoming depression, lack of motivation, writer’s block or whatever it may be should be considered as a triumph. Our failure is key to our success.  

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

We can always change and we have the potential to grow into completely different people. It’s not where we are from but where we are about to go. We should always be challenging ourselves to change and become something incredible. Life isn’t stationary, it’s moving all the time, so we should move with it. 

“Whatever money you might have, self-worth really lies in finding out what you do best.”

Our own self-worth is where true value lies. Materialistic items will not grant us happiness only doing what we love to do will. Creating things that we are passionate about and engaging with our truest desires will grant happiness and self-worth. Engaging with these things is the only way we can remain truly dedicated and passionate about our field.