Fan Letter to J.K. Rowling
I wrote the letter below in my journal on 2/21/12 at 12:19am. I printed it out and sent it to J.K. Rowling. A few weeks later I received a letter in response from her publisher, along with a glossy photograph of J.K. Rowling.
Dear J.K. Rowling,
After having watched a movie about your life on television, I see a lot of myself in you. From a young age, maybe 10 years old, all I have ever wanted to do, been called to do and felt compelled to do was write. It was, and is, the only thing that feels natural to me, that I feel I have a real talent for.
I majored in English and earned a B.A., hoping to get into the publishing business and become an editor, but that’s because I didn’t really believe that it was possible to earn a living solely from writing. I have read all the Harry Potter books and I can tell that you truly and sincerely love to write. You have been blessed with an amazing imagination and a way with words that is just unparalleled, thought you have probably been told this so many times before.
Writing is the only work that really makes me happy. I wish I could write fiction like you, but mostly I enjoy poetry, creative nonfiction, personal essay, and journal writing. Like you, I was always at the top of my class in school, and expected to go really far in life, to excel. But I have been stalled. I have had stressful, unfulfilling jobs since college.
I’m only 32 years old, but I fear getting older and feeling like a failure all my life. I fear feeling like some drifter who doesn’t really belong anywhere. I tried to take a leave of absence from work but it did not alleviate the anxiety. Mostly, I feel like I’ve lost my identity and sense of self because I buried it so deeply below this fake, professional image that I live out every day in my awful job.
I wish I could be like you and be free to enjoy life and live it the way it was meant to be lived, as a human being, not a slave. Not as someone who just lives for the weekend and then barely enjoys the weekend because she’s worried about dealing with Monday morning.
Your story was so inspiring to me because it shows that writing matters. And even if your books never made any money, you wanted to finish your first book just for yourself, just for the joy it brought you. I know my writing will probably never make me rich or even support me, but I am reminded that writing, even if just for myself, is still important, meaningful and fulfilling.
It helps me realize that I do exist and have a voice, and can express myself creatively. That is a real gift. I don’t really know how to keep going along in the real world since I want to quit my day job every day, but maybe a miracle will happen for me like it did for you. Maybe suddenly I will be blessed with the realization of what I should do with my life.
I wish you all the continued blessings you could ever hope for, and the gift of words and inspiration for the rest of your days. Be blessed and keep writing,