I've never read the Harry Potter books. I blame partial brain washing from the church I attended (they told me it was demonic...), and various other excuses...but beyond that, I've never had an urge to. But something about LeakyCon started putting a want in me. (That, and I've been seeing it pop up more and more in thrift stores which means it's super cheap!)
Anyways, long windedness aside, I'm a young writing. I'm an unagented, and for the most part, unpublished author. It's hard writing countless queries, seeing millions of rejections, and having the constant feeling of "Why am I even doing this?"
And then I drove 12 hours, (broke down in GA twice to an overheated car that was low on oil because a jerk left my oil cap off). I sat through numerous panels at LeakyCon's Lit Day until I saw Arthur Levine's keynote. Originally, I wasn't going to go because as I said, I never read Harry Potter. Huray! He edited the book! Yea...I really didn't care. But something brought me into those rooms (even though my badge was wrong and I again had to argue with the people at the door. Ugh).
Mr. Levine spoke about a woman named Jo (JK Rowling) who was on government assistance (and I thought about my food-stamps card in my car), a single mother, a woman who had a book about a boy who didn't belong. A boy who was treated like shit and lived under the stairs. The more I listened, the more I finally started to appreciate the character, the woman, the struggle that we all go through. (Plus, he used a lot of food references, so that helped, too). It gave me goosebumps, and though JK blew up and went on to make millions (and no longer need assistance), I too believe in my characters. If I am ever able to write something that affects so many people in such a great way I will die a happy, happy girl. I really don't care if I made millions (it'd be nice, but not necessary). I really just want my writing to affect people (in a good way).
Moral of the story is, though that keynote, I found some more inspiration to keep trucking on, to keep querying, keep writing, and in the end, maybe someday read the Harry Potter books.