She is truly one of the most amazingly talented people out there. She is such an inspiration to never give up on your dreams. Talk about rags to riches… She went from living on welfare to being a multi-millionaire.
The idea for the Harry Potter stories just came to her one day during a commute and she immediately began writing the story down. Sadly, Rowling’s mother passed away while she was writing the first story and a lot of the loss she wrote about that Harry went through was sort of a mirror image to what she was going through. So unfortunately her mother never got to see her daughter become a successful writer, though this did greatly influence her writing.
A lot of the things going on in Rowling’s life transpired into her writing. After going through a marriage and divorce and left with a baby to take care of all on her own, she was clinically depressed and had even contemplated suicide. She felt like a failure…
So Rowling just kept writing here and there wherever and when she could while raising her daughter. Amazingly enough, Rowling did not give up finding a publisher even after TWELVE publishing houses rejected her manuscript. Eventually she found a publisher but was told to “keep your day job” because they said she had little chance to make money in children’s books. Rowling was also told to use initials instead of her first name because they feared the target audience of young boys would not want to read a story written by a “girl”. So the J is for her first name, Joanne and the K is for her grandmother’s name, Kathleen since she doesn’t actually have a middle name.
Rowling had the determination and drive to get her story heard, and she definitely did! The books have been translated into 65 languages around the world. Harry Potter is now a global brand worth $15 billion. What a complete change of scenery for a single mother on welfare just trying to catch a break to a world-wide phenomenon. The last 4 Harry Potter books were the fastest-selling books in history.
As an avid fan of the Harry Potter series, I am thankful JK Rowling never gave up on her dream.
“I just write what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me. It’s totally for myself. I never in my wildest dreams expected this popularity.”