J.K Rowling is one of the most inspirational success stories of our time. Many people simply know her as the woman who created Harry Potter. But, what most people don’t know is what she went through earlier before reaching popularity. Rowling’s life was not peaches and cream. She struggled tremendously.
In 1990, Rowling first had the idea for Harry Potter. “the idea came fully formed into my mind.“, she stated. One day while she was on a train from Manchester to London, she began writing intensely.
Later that year, her mother died after 10 years of suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that damaged nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord. In 1992 she moved to Portugal to teach English where she met a man, married, and had a daughter. In 1993, her marriage ended in divorce and she moved to Scotland to be closer to her sister. At that time, she had three chapters of Harry Potter in her suitcase.
Rowling saw herself as a failure at this time. She was jobless, divorced, penniless, and a dependent child. She suffered through depression, eventually, she signed up for government-assisted welfare which means the government sent her money because she has to raise a child with no income. It was a difficult time in her life, but she pushed through failures. In 1995 all 12 major publishers rejected the Harry Potter script. But, it was a year later when a small publishing house, Bloomsbury, accepted it and extended a very small advance.
In 1997, the book was published with only 1000 copies.
In 1997 and 1998, the book won awards from the Nestle Smarties Book Prize and the British Book Award for Children’s Book of the Year. After that, it was one wild ride for Rowling. Today, Rowling has sold more than 400 million copies of her books and is considered to be the most successful woman author in the United Kingdom. In 2004, Forbes, a global media company, named Rowling as the first person to become a US-dollar billionaire by writing books, the second-richest female entertainer, and the 1,062nd richest person in the world. Rowling disputed the calculations and said she had plenty of money but was not a billionaire. The 2016 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling’s fortune at £600 million, ranking her as the joint 197th richest person in the UK. In 2012, Forbes removed Rowling from their rich list, claiming that her US$160 million in charity donations and the high tax rate in the UK meant she was no longer a billionaire. In February 2013 she was titled as the 13th most powerful woman in the United Kingdom.
Now Rowling is once again married, having 2 other children, and living a peaceful life.
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