If you are a teen writer (like me!), the answer is probably heck ya!
It’s true, J.K. Rowling has absolutely taken over and led the way for YA readers with Harry Potter. Of course, I’m a total Potter Head. But as a writer, your goal should not be to become the “next J.K. Rowling.” That’s how you turn into a copycat.
As Allen Ginsberg says, “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” If you are so consumed by the idea of becoming the “Next Big Thing,” you lose your originality and authenticity. You become distracted by the BIG GOAL.
Aim For Awesomeness
Instead of holding the desire to be the “next J.K. Rowling,” aim to connect with as many people as she has. Create a world so intricate and powerful, it becomes real for so many of us. (Who else hoped they would receive their Hogwarts letter when they turned eleven?...I’m still hoping that day comes!) Focus on your imagination and detail. Focus on who you want to become as a writer.
You Are Authentic
I’m always asked, “So you’re going to be the next J.K. Rowling, right?” I mean, that would be AWESOME. I would love to say YES life is that easy, but the truth is that I hope my stories will relate to people like Harry Potter does. I see J.K. Rowling as an inspiration, but I don’t aspire to be her. I want to keep my authenticity. I want my name and who I am to show through my work just as hers has. She is a literary goddess that I will forever appreciate because she shows the rest of us the potential for our literary adventures. She has proven that a fictional novel can impact the world. So make yours do the same.
Don’t be the “next J.K. Rowling.”