Friday, April 9, 2010

JK Rowling

For one of my local college scholarships, I had to write an essay on who has inspired me most in my life. I chose JK Rowling. I thought it might be nice to share it here :)

*PS: a legitimate blog post is coming soon, complete with anecdotes, recently lists, self reflections and even photos! OH JOY! Anyway.



Joanne Rowling, better known to the world as JK Rowling, author of the phenomenally popular Harry Potter series, has been an undeniable inspiration in my life. She has been a key part of my life since I was seven years old, over ten years ago. Her inspiration, apart from the obvious influence of her novels, has touched me on many levels and her story still motivates me to this day.

JK Rowling came into my life when I was just seven years old. That was the age when I first picked up a Harry Potter novel. Being so young, I initially had my mother read the first two novels of the series to me as a sort of bedtime routine, but as I grew up and developed my love for reading, I started to read them obsessively on my own. I had never before experienced such a detailed, beautifully written book that wholly captivated my imagination and heart. As the years passed, I enthusiastically gobbled up each novel as they were released and much of my imagination revolved around Harry’s world. I would write stories of my own that connected to JK Rowling’s world, I would search the internet for news and hints about the upcoming novels , draw my own illustrations of things described in the books, attend midnight releases for the novels and subsequent films. Harry Potter even led to me bonding with friends at school who also loved the books and films, and many of those friendships have lasted to this day.

My life was enveloped by Harry Potter, and the series is what ignited my love for stories themselves, and I attribute my current love for reading and writing to the presence of Harry Potter in my life. I’m not sure I would have read nearly as much as I do now had it not been for Harry Potter igniting that initial spark for reading over ten years ago. Had it not been for this story, I might not have the deep appreciation for the human imagination that I have today that keeps me passionate about art, literature and stories.

Apart from the novels themselves being a very essential influence on my life, I think the thing that has most inspired my aspirations in life has been the story of JK Rowling herself. I remember that as I developed my love for Harry Potter, I began to look up biographies on JK Rowling to get a better idea of the person who was giving the world this wonderful and imaginative world. I learned that she had written Harry Potter during a particularly difficult time in her life. She was very poor, living off welfare in a small run-down apartment, trying to raise her daughter as a single mother. She had nothing and no one to rely on and was very lonely. But still she pursued her passion for story-telling, despite the very small chance that she would succeed. She continued writing Harry’s story until she finally got the courage to try to publish her story. It was a struggle still to get her story picked up by a publisher, as ironic as that might sound now. But she persevered until it finally was published. And from there we all are quite aware that the book’s popularity grew enormously to the point of an international phenomenon, and she now is a household figure who is definitely no longer struggling for money as she once did.

What has struck me most about her story is her determination despite all odds. To me, that is a quality that speaks true to my future goals. My passion has always been art and creation, ever since I became so enraptured with fantastical worlds like Harry’s. Creating worlds and stories through visual mediums, be it if I work as a conceptual artist for films or as an illustrator for stories of my own, is what I am determined to make a career out of. But this is an unconventional career path that is not known for being particularly successful and financially stable. But it is what I want to do more than anything in the world, and I will continue to pursue it no matter what. And Jo’s example, though extremely lucky and exceptional, has been a driving force in my passion ever since I heard it for myself. Her story has showed me that even if you come from the humblest of beginning and have nothing to your name but an imagination and talent, there is no limit to what you can achieve. As cliché and idealist as that might sound, it is something I believe is essential and true. Her overcoming of odds by using her imagination and passion is an inspiration to people like me, who plan to follow in her footsteps and use my own creativity to my advantage. She has showed me the importance of staying motivated in your convictions and passions, and to never give up on your dreams. Though I have a long way to go before I am anywhere near as successful as her, I believe that if I stay passionate and determined through all challenges as she did, I will be able to overcome any hurdle and make my mark on the world.