July 29, 2011

J.K. Rowling Isn't Perfect! Isn't It Wonderful?!

Here is my biggest fear as a writer: Negative Criticism.

I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but writers are really open to all kinds of criticism. We put our hearts on the line every time we allow our work to be read. It’s our baby. It’s personal.

I’ve been really lucky. I have a lot of support from family and friends. And I belong to a very supportive blogging community. You always have something nice to say – to me and each other. I really appreciate it.

Here’s something scary: Even some of the most popular authors receive negative criticism. They really do! Check this out -

Stephen King said that “[J.K.] Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.” Stephenie Meyer must have been devastated! God save us from the “King”! I hope I never come under his radar.

But even J.K. Rowling has received criticism for numerous writing mistakes; too many adjectives or “ly” endings, too many exclamation points, and too many alliterative names: Harry, Hermione, Hagrid, Hogwarts, Hogsmeade. She broke a lot of the “rules” of writing!

But Stephen King is wrong, isn’t he? Because Stephenie Meyer has an extremely successful series and a huge audience. And with all Rowling’s “mistakes,” Harry Potter isn’t over by a long shot. That world that Rowling created? It still exists. Her audience still wants to be part of that world. A world in which children are empowered, where children do the right thing, where friendship is everything. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series does the same thing.

I personally love both of these authors. I love immersing myself in their worlds. I don’t notice the mistakes, or the supposedly bad writing.

And isn’t that sort of why we write? We want to entertain and hold our audience captive. To take our audience along with our characters to a place where anything is possible.

My point is that we don’t have to be “great” – we don’t have to be William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens. I am never going to be a classic writer. I’m not even ever going to be JK Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. But I can be me, in all my imperfection, and be successful anyway.

JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer aren’t perfect! Isn’t it wonderful?! Because it opens the door for the rest of us!

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