Facing Failure

Thanks to Kelly McMichael for pointing me to a video of the speech given by J.K. Rowling at the 2008 Harvard University Commencement. It is entitled “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination.” There are three main points in the speech: one that focuses on failure versus success, another on having the power to imagine better for the oppressed in our world, and the last on the value of true friends. The speech is some twenty minutes long but well worth your time.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement

If you choose not to take the time, then at least take with you this comment:

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all. In which case you fail by default.”

From the perspective of rejection and failure in the world of writing and publishing it is something to cling to when you realize the journey J.K. Rowling has taken.