Jimmy Guterman's blog

media, technology, management, and the rest of it

What failure taught J.K. Rowling

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Just read her Harvard commencement speech and some commentary on it. Regular readers here know I’m interested in mistakes and failure. Part of Rowling’s section in her speech on what failure taught her struck me as worth remembering and passing along:

“Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Onward…

Written by guterman

June 11, 2008 at 9:19 am

Posted in writing

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