Friday, August 27, 2010

JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure | Video on TED.com



JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure | Video on TED.com
Today, while I should have been grading student papers,  I watched, spellbound, the 2008 Harvard commencement speech given by JK Rowling.  Amy Plum, another author with an exciting upcoming novel, posted it earlier on her page, and I had bookmarked it to read at a more suitable time.  (And, as a profs know, what better time to watch a video than grading time?)

I must admit: I am not a Harry Potter fan.  I read the first book in the series to my older son when he was little (he's now in college), and I felt a little befuddled at how this book had acquired such accolades.  Then I watched the movie, and (once again, red-faced at this admission) I got it.  I looked forward to the second and third movies, even though I still didn't pick up the physical book.  I was never one for fantasy or science fiction writing, and I'll just have to die knowing that I will never have the ardent desire for Harry or [insert any number of Lord of the Rings characters here] that I witness all around me.  That's why I was so surprised that JK Rowling's speech moved me so.  She is eloquent, both in writing and in delivery, and her message is inspiring.  Writers, dreamers, and those who are afraid of failure (or experiencing failure) should watch this powerful clip. 

I am grateful to TED.com for posting it.
 

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