In an interview with J.K. Rowling on Urbanette that describes her writing process and getting published, readers learn about the pathway to success for Rowling. It was not an easy or fast path to working on the Harry Potter series. While traveling from Manchester to London by train, the idea fell into her head. She was unable to write it down right away, but that enabled her idea to become more formed instead of it possibly becoming stifled by the slowness of writing. Over the next several years, moves, and relationships, Rowling slowly worked on her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Her life experiences influenced the storyline of the books; her mother’s death made the deaths of Harry’s parents feel more real to her. Rowling wrote in her spare time, in the evenings and once her daughter fell asleep while on walks. She would dash to the nearest café, and just write because it was a good and comfortable place where she could write without too many interruptions, and was not too crowded but crowded enough. The second person she contacted about being an agent for her book became her agent, and then it took a year after working with her agent for Bloomsbury to then publish the book.

Rowling’s personal story is so inspiring to me, as inspiring as her Harry Potter stories, that are my childhood. She makes several good points about writing and perseverance in her interview. I liked how she talked about the benefits of not having a pen to write down her thoughts right away because it allowed more thoughts to flow. I know I have found that when writing, if I brainstorm on paper I get nowhere. It takes me just thinking about it at random times for papers to gain more sense and clarity as I work to form them. Her mode of writing I also appreciated: write anytime and anywhere, but find a good place for you. She took any free time she had to write as much as she could. I know most times I just try to sit and block out several hours for writing, which is so ineffectual for me. I need to make better use of my little bits of free time to gather my thoughts together. She also talked about going from café to café to write, and finding cafes to be good places to write. This encourages me to find a place to write that works best for me, and an atmosphere that will be helpful, not stifling. Finally, her perseverance I think is an essential lesson for all: she did not give up, but hoped, prayed, and tried until a publisher chose to accept her manuscript for publishing. We all need to just keep going with our writing, and things can work out in the end.


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