All writers — no matter how successful — need to learn how to overcome writing failures and rejections. These tips for writers are based on J.K. Rowling’s Commencement Speech at Harvard, which was about failing in life, and succeeding as a writer.
Rowling called this part of her speech “The Fringe Benefits of Failure.”
“An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless,” said Rowling. “The fears my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”
Read on to learn how what Rowling thinks about overcoming writing failures and rejections — it’ll boost your self-confidence! And, for more tips on improving your writing, read Writing on Demand: Best Practices and Strategies for Success.
Overcome Writing Rejections and Failures – Tips From J.K. Rowling
Often, you have to fail as a writer before you write that bestselling novel or ground-breaking memoir. If you’re failing as a writer – which it definitely feels like when you’re struggling to write regularly or can’t seem to earn a living as a freelance writer – maybe you need to take a long-term perspective.
Step back for a moment, and take an objective look at your writing life. Are you failing because you’re simply not writing? Are you failing because you’re not sending out several article pitches to magazines a week? Are you failing because your family keeps you too busy to do your research or editing? Are you failing because you’re weary, depressed, or despondent? If you need specific writing tips, make sure you find the right writing advice.
Take care of your writing life, so it takes care of you!
JK Rowling’s Fringe Benefits of Failure
“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure?” asked Rowling in her commencement speech at Harvard. “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.”
To stop feeling like a writing failure, you have to stop pretending, wishing, or dreaming of being a successful writer, blogger, journalist, poet, or novelist. You need to actively work towards improving your writing skills and moving ahead as a writer – and you have to get over your writing failures and writing mistakes.
Start writing, fellow scribes, and keep going.
Start writing today.
If you have any tips on overcoming writing rejections, I welcome you below!