She had just divorced, she was homeless with a young daughter and she was rejected by 12 publishers. This was J.K. Rowling about 20 years ago! Before she penned the first Harry Potter book, she wrote manuscripts of crime thrillers under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, but she received multiple rejections.
If you’re an aspiring writer, then you know how hard it can be to stay focused, motivated, and inspired while trying to finish a book and get it published. Whether it be writer’s block or rejection letters, you’re bound to hit a wall at some point during the incredible yet painful process of creating.
If a person, a writer, can make it through everything Rowling did and go on to publish one of the most popular book series of all time, you know you can trust their insights. So, whenever you find yourself ready to thrown your manuscript out the window, turn to these writing tips from J.K. Rowling:
1. “All a writer needs is talent & ink!”
2. “I just write what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me. It’s totally for myself!”
3. “What you write becomes who you are. So make sure you love what you write!”
4. “Write what you know: your own interests, feelings, beliefs, friends, family and even pets will be your raw materials when you start writing. Develop a fondness for solitude if you can, because writing is one of the loneliest professions in the world!”
5. “I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I’m in good company there!”
6. “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!”
7. “Sometimes you have to get your writing done in spare moments here and there!”
8. “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!”
9. “Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it!”
10. “You need to write something that a publisher would want to publish (it only takes one, but it might take a while to find them. If you are turned down by every single publisher in existence, you will have to consider the possibility that what you have written is not publishable). Next, you need to approach the publisher, either directly, or (which is advisable if you can manage it) by securing an agent who will act on your behalf. Wait. Pray. This is the way Harry Potter got published!”