John Green, Harry Potter and Leakycon: They remind me to turn on the light.

So I’ve been gone awhile. Sorry. Life.

Never fret, I am still working on my first review but I’ve had some other more important novel projects to work on and the stuff that will be published (eventually) has priority. Today I’d like to talk about something else. Something nerdy.

So one of my favorite quotes of all time, is by John Green…

“…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”
― John Green (I just lifted this from Good Reads btw)

This was one of those quotes that basically altered my way of thinking. It’s not that I’ve ever been really bothered by what other people say, and at least when it comes to voicing opinions I’ve never shied away from stating mine on any given topic, nerdy or not. But this quote filled me with some sort of epic power to totally throw myself into loving the things that I love and be totally unapologetic about  it.

There are only a handful of quotes which have really stuck with me over the years and have made a lasting change on my life, but this was one of them. The fact that John Green is an author makes it relevant on a totally different level. I look at his words, both in his books and in public, and I see this incredible, profound, awkward, fun loving, joyous person who, in simply embracing who he is, makes those around him able to embrace themselves a little more. How cool is that?

How cool is it to have that power, not just as an author on the page speaking through other’s mouths, but to have the support to speak openly, and champion those who are different. I attended Leakycon ( a four day Harry Potter convention) in Chicago 2012, and met John for the first time. The entire convention was one of the best things I’ve ever experienced in my life, and since then not a single day goes by when I don’t think about it or wish I was going again this year. But one of my favorite things about it, was that collectively, whether they’d done it consciously or not, all the people (all 4,000 of  ’em) had taken to heart that quote of his.

We wore wizard robes, and carried backpacks of books around, and screamed till our voices were gone when our favorite authors showed up on stage. People made powwows in the lines for events and took out HP books or others, and discussed them. Details, characters, motivations, plots, Easter eggs. Movie adaptations, writing, creating, entrepreneurial plans. For four days, authors were rock stars, and we all acknowledged that the ideas and emotions shared in that hotel, the jump up and down joy and enthusiasm, the wizard rock concerts, and the HP musicals, all of those things existed because one woman wrote a book series that she believed in, even when it was hard. When she was poor, and didn’t have a degree in English, and didn’t care (rightfully so.)

There is another quote that I’ve turned to a lot in the past few days.

Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter, and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
– J. K. Rowling, “The fringe benefits of failure”, 2008

So what I would like to leave you with today is this. Life happens. For better or for worse, the hours pass even if you don’t move. Give yourself the freedom to throw yourself at the things that make you the happiest, even if they’re impossible.

I’m unemployed. I’ve been unemployed since I graduated college 11 months ago. It’s been something that has brought me a lot of torment over the past few months. But I’m also a writer. And I write a lot. When I think about Leakycon, I spend a lot of time thinking about all the fun we had, but I also sit back and let myself think how cool it would be to be one of those authors. To be a rock star to the nerds who love things purely because it makes us feel something.

I don’t think that there will ever be another writer to create a community like J.K. Rowling did, but I know that I’m never going to leave that community behind. Harry Potter is  my home, and for all the fantastic and crazy, impractical ideas my fellow friends have, I’ll always support them. And with that, I know they’ll support me.

Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home. -J.K. Rowling.

Live your dreams people. Do what makes you happiest.

Happy Scribbling everyone.

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One response to “John Green, Harry Potter and Leakycon: They remind me to turn on the light.

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