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Rowling on Failure and the benefits of imagination

j.k. rowling

I’ve been to many talks, conference sessions, and read many articles about failure especially related to innovation and the creative process – that you must first fail to realize really revolutionary ideas, to spur real creativity. It extends to iteration in the web world, but that’s completely trivializing the core of what Rowling is getting at.

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 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.

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality…That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.

and, for the record, i’d love to be a gay wizard.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1711302&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

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