Well Done, Harry Potter!

J K RowlingCome to find out, J. K. Rowling isn’t so different from the rest of us. Sure she has written one of the most popular series in English literary history, inspired a theme park attracting thousands of people every day to enter into a world of her own imagination, and could publish her grocery list with just about any press in the world (and, yes, people would still buy it). But maybe that’s where the differences end.

According to a recent article in The Guardian, the famed author of Harry Potter wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013) under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith because she needed . . . wait for it . . . “validation” as a writer:

I wanted to prove to myself that I could get a book published on the merits of the book. A friend of mine said, “why did you need validation?,” and I think possibly you need to be a writer to understand why.

I, for one, don’t think Rowling is being particularly narcissistic. She’s just being human. No matter how successful or accomplished an individual may be, it turns out we all need a little love to keep us going. Think LeBron James with a typewriter.

Problem is, if J. K. Rowling still needs validation, where does that leave the rest of us?

N.B. What I really mean is Sara Coleridge: Her Life and Thought (2014) is a really good book, so don’t let that academic-market price stop you from telling me that it completely changed your life.

If you enjoyed this post, take a look at George R. R. Martin on Reading.


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