I really love this story from Fairfax Media’s stuff.co.nz on life tips from J K Rowling. I admire her not because she’s a successful author of children’s book (I’m just jealous of that ;), but because of how she respects her success and uses it.

The link to the original is: http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/10451034/15-life-tips-from-JK-Rowling

In short:

  • she believes in paying taxes because in the past, she’s benefited from how taxes are used; she is paying forward to those less fortunate.
  • she knows she has enough and doesn’t care about making more and more money.
  • she never, ever gave up on her dreams and went for it. It’s easy to think ‘this is too hard, it will never get anywhere,’ believe me. Go her for being so staunch.
  • after winning the prestigious Nestle Smarties book prize three times in a row, she withdrew to allow other upcoming authors (hopefully like me 😉 a chance.
  •  she’s fine being a little dark, talking about death etc. I agree – kids are interested in dark stuff, some more than other. Some might find some of the scenes in The Uncontrollable Slingshot a little grim, especially the scene I am working on right now where Sabrina battles rats, but that’s how life can be – books are a great way for young people to ask questions.
  • she’d rather be a grown up than a teenager. Um, well I quite liked being a teenager – I had very different worries then than I do now (mortgages, cleaning toilets, that kind of thing) but I was lucky to have such a great family. I also thought that it was possible to change the world, and I’ve lost some of my mojo there!
  • she battles on and finishes stuff, even though it’s a ‘chore’. Hey! I am writing this blog instead of book 3 in the Strange Sagas of Sabrina Summers and yesterday I tweeted and Facebooked about the Emmy red carpet fashion!
  • she loves books. Enough said.
  • she knows it’s hard to stand up to our allies – family and friends in particular. I have Olive in particular standing up to Sabrina, and I’m glad to say Sabrina appreciated it.
  • she believes in being kind to those who are seen as our inferiors. Watch this space for the ending of book 3. I absolutely endorse this belief and take it even further and say why stop with people when we can make such a positive difference in reducing suffering by being kind to animals too.
  • she says we shouldn’t worry about the future. Having lived through the Christchurch earthquakes over recent years, I know that whatever comes our way, we generally cope.
  • she says we shouldn’t care what other people think of us. Easier said than done, thanks to social media, but I’m working on it. People who try to cut us down are generally jealous, and they’re jealous because they are unhappy so perhaps compassion is the key.
  • she gives a lot to charity. We sponsor a child through Childfund and contribute to World Animal Protection. I recently was privileged to hear Peter Singer, the great philosopher, speak about ‘effective altruism’. He suggested we put our charity dollars where they will do most good globally.
  • no matter how smart we are, fate can still make fools of us.
  • we can’t please everyone. So please the ones who matter – yourself first.