J.K. Rowling, the woman who created the magical world of Harry Potter, was living below the poverty line when she wrote the first book of the Harry Potter series. Rowling’s struggles extended past her financial status too–she was hit with multiple bouts of depression, but she was able to use writing as an outlet to escape her darkest days.
She came up with the idea of Harry Potter while sitting in a delayed train from Manchester to London King’s Cross in 1990. Many of her initial thoughts were jotted down on paper napkins. Soon after, Rowling’s mother got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but J.K. continued writing her book as a coping mechanism. Sadly, her mother succumbed to the complications of multiple sclerosis and passed away at the age of 45. This caused J.K. to fall into a deep depression and halted progress on her novel.
Seeking a fresh start, J.K. got a job teaching English in Portugal. She had high hopes of advancing the Harry Potter series, but once again things did not go as planned. Upon arriving in Portugal, she fell in love.
Love is not always a beautiful thing. She got married, had a kid, and then got a divorce after 3 years of marriage. The split with her husband put J.K. at her lowest point. She began to live on welfare checks, and she had to raise her baby with no other financial support. However, despite all of her hurdles, J.K. was determined that it was time to make her Harry Potter dream a reality. Whenever her baby was napping, she resumed work on her novel.
Rowling worked and worked and eventually had the first three chapters completed. Rapidly and filled with emotion, she sent them to 12 different publishers.
JK Rowling’s inbox was soon filled with rejection letters. Every single publisher had either ignored her or flat out said no. Then came Bloomsbury Publishing as her knight in shining armor who saved her from even more despair. It was all thanks to the Bloomsbury Publishing chairman’s 8-year-old daughter who was immediately captivated by the mystical world of Harry Potter.
People doubted Rowling, including the Bloomsbury editor who told her to get a day job, but Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone became an instant hit. Today, J.K. stands as the highest paid female author and through perseverance and grit, nothing was strong enough to deter J.K. Rowling from bringing Harry Potter to life.