22 July 2009

J.K. Rowling's Incredible Gift

Last week was a very busy week for me.

I'd just returned from a few weeks in Guatemala, where I had the incredible joy of co-leading a team of 13 girls (that's right, an all female team) in the beautiful mountains of San Pedro. For more stories from that trip, please go to my missions' blog at ktsummer.blogspot.com, or to the actual team blog at http://09gu0630yi.myadventures.org/. Anywho, we arrived in the States really late--or early, just depending on how you look at it--one night. The next couple days were a flurry of activity, from saying good-bye to my team, to debriefing the trip, saying good-bye to my co-leaders, returning home, cuddling with my poodle, and being overcome with a high fever and a deep cough. I admit, I've been pretty out of it for a while now.

But nothing, not even overseas travel and illness, could keep me from noticing the Harry Potter fever. It's everywhere. He's everywhere. And rightly so--the series is amazing. I haven't been to see the film yet, but that day will come soon. This will be the first HP movie that I've seen in a theater, something I'm most definitely looking forward to.

But what I want to write about today was the documentary that aired on television last Friday night. It was an hour-long account of the final year of Harry Potter, the year J.K. Rowling finished writing the final book. There was actually someone there with her in the hotel room, filming her as she typed the last few words of the series she'd been working on for sixteen years.

It was so cool to see that, so neat to be allowed that glimpse into Rowlings' life. As a writer, I know all too well how wonderful it feels to complete a book. But I haven't been working on the same series for sixteen years. And the summation of the known--and the unknown--world hasn't waited with bated breath for the release of anything I've written, no matter how much I love to dream that will be the case one day. As a writer, I really appreciated those few moments of the documentary, perhaps more than any other. It gave me something so precious, something so incredibly personal that I still can't believe it.

For a writer, you can't get any more personal than the act of writing itself, nor the emotions, thoughts, and desires that swirl through us as we fully engage in the craft. It's us at our most powerful--and sometimes at our weakest. Times when we feel completely out of control and times when we know exactly what is going to happen when. It's euphoria and grief and everything in between. It's intoxicating. And for the most part, it's completely private.

J.K. Rowling let us see her, not only as a multi-published author, but as a writer. As a dreamer. As someone that shares my creative heart. I am so thankful.

I don't aspire to the level of fame and fortune that she has attained. But I do aspire to attain her storytelling ability and her relationship with a publisher. Her story has given me hope to keep writing, to keep dreaming of my day. It will come. It doesn't have to be tomorrow--although, that would be incredible if it did--but that "tomorrow" will come one day. I believe it with everything's that's in me.

Now, to keep writing!


  1. I love how writers can do that for each other--inspire. I feel blessed to be in such wonderful company.

    I haven't read Harry Potter yet, but plan to. My pastor's wife swears by them.

    How cool about your trip co-leading!
    ~ Wendy

  2. Hi, Wendy! So nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by! You're so right; the community of writers--both of those we do know and those we don't--is an incredible thing! I tremble to think of the "greats" who we share a calling with!

    Definitely--they are incredible! My favorites are books 4-7. They are a bit darker and so beautifully done!

    Yeah, it's definitely fun... and makes for great stories!

  3. Hi Kristen,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I'm always glad to meet other writers. I've learned so much through blogging and been so encouraged by other writers.

    It's inspiring to hear about the passion of famous writers. Doesn't it just make you want to try harder to work on becoming a better writer? It sure does me!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Most definitely! And what incredible incentive to keep writing!

    I read a few of your posts and just wanted you to know that your journey has really inspired me! Your entry on "The Call" just gave me hope for when that time will come for me. But for now, I am really excited for you. I can't wait to see what all God has in store--and I can't wait to read your book!

  5. Hi Kristen,

    I was browsing and found your post on JKR. Like you, I saw the TV documentary and loved the peek into her writing life. When people ask me what it's like to write a novel I can't always find the right words to tell them because it's such a personal experience. But your post expresses the emotions perfectly! I'd like to share a portion of it on my blog if you wouldn't mind???

    Carol Garvin