12 Publishers Rejected Her First Book. J. K Rowling Persisted And Overcame Her Failures Until She Became One Of The Greatest Writers.


First Book. J. K Rowling

Many people would stay down when knocked down by failure and obstacles. They won’t have the gut to stand up and keep moving. This fighting spirit, this burning desire, that most people lack is the secret recipe to success.


And that it was J.R Rowling had in her. Rowling faced a lot of failures in her life. From divorce to being poor to being a single mother, she strived ahead till she became successful and one the most famous writers of all time.


The Harry Potter series was her first book, giving her the reckoning and reputation she had today.


Failures shouldn’t hinder you from becoming what you’re destined to be. Read the success story of J. K. Rowling, and you might learn something to motivate you to achieve your dream.

Joanne’s Early Life and Academics.


Joanne was born in 1965 in Gloucestershire, England, to Peter and Anne James Rowling. Both her parents were in the Navy but at different stations. Peter happened to be with the Royal Navy while Anne was with the Wrens.


They met on a train while journeying to Scotland from London for their naval duties. They were so fond of each other, and the following year Joanne was conceived.


Before Joanne was born, her parents left the navy to sort for a new life and a fresh start for their baby. Peter became a renowned engineer and worked at Bristol Siddeley Factory, which later became a part of Rolls-Royce.


Her mother became a science technician. Neither of them went to university, but their formal education and service in the Navy gave them a platform to have a stable life.


The family moved from Yate to Winterbourne when Joanne was 4, 2 years older than her sister Dianne. Joanne attended the St. Michaels Church of England Primary School.


In Winterbourne, they lived beside a neighbor’s house called the Potter. Joanne was fond of this name, which might be the source of the Harry Potter series.


Her family was a lovely one from the beginning. Life was smooth, with no doubts. Their house was filled with books. Both parents will read different types of books to them.


Joanne attempted to write a story when she turned six. The story was “Rabbit,” which was supposed to be scary because her father would read scary stories to her before bedtime.


It won’t be offensive to say how and where Joanne got her writing prowess.


However, she never had it easy with her teacher. She’d get scolded and punished whenever she performed poorly in arithmetics.


This instills fear into little Rowling’s heart. She wanted to be away from her battle-ax teacher, who would effortlessly instill fear in the heart of her students.


In 1975, when she was about nine years of age, she decided to join the Brownies Pack. They’d have spectacular special events. She later found solace away from her stern teacher in a world that is so magical.


When she clocked 11, she wrote her first story and named it “The Seven Cursed Diamonds.”


No one knows where she got the inspiration for such a short story. But one thing is clear, that stage was her epitome as a little bookish child.


Joanne attended Wyedean School and College when she was 12. She got supported by different teachers in that school for her talent.


Lucy Shepherd was Joanne’s favorite teacher. She taught her how to structure her writings and instill precision.


Many of the teachers were fascinated by her imagination. How she built up a character, packaged it, and presented it magnificently.


Her early beginning was smooth and icy. But you can never tell the occurrence of events. You can predict some, but for many, life is unpredictable.


Joanne’s mother, Anne, had a significant influence on her daughter. She monitored and shaped all of Joanne’s activities. She wanted her ready for the world ahead of her.


When she was 15, her mother was diagnosed with virulent sclerosis at 34. Her mother’s illness worsened, and she had no option but to give up her job.


Things were not going well. Smoking and partying became her safe Haven. Home became a difficult place to be for Joanne Rowling. She could only find escape in her writings.


She always wanted to be a writer, so she gave her all. She later studied French, English, and German.


Joanne applied to the University of Oxford but was rejected. She overlooked it and applied to the University of Exeter, where she met different people who shared the same imagination as her.


After studying in France, she bagged a major in French and Classics in 1987.

Harry Potter Inspiration, and Joanne’s miserable life.

First Book. J. K Rowling

Upon completing her university, Joanne took courses that would give her a chance to become a bilingual secretary. She worked with Amnesty International in London. During this job, she wrote numerous adult novels that were never published.


Joanne Rowling moved to Manchester in the mid-1990. She was on that train from London to Manchester when she got her inspiration. Her journey had been delayed by four hours, and she had no choice but to wander in her mind.


Amidst the wandering, Harry Potter and other characters became plain to her. She had no paper or pen to put things down. So, she continues to wander and explore this inspiration in her head.


When she got to her apartment, putting these characters and inspiration down was the first thing she did. She was satisfied. She continued writing while working at Manchester University and the Chamber of Commerce.


She never mentioned the series to her mother. A few weeks after her return to Manchester, her mother passed away on 30th December 1990. Her mother’s death had a massive impact on her writing and her daily life entirely.


She moved to Portugal in 1991 after a series of breakdowns with her boyfriend and the death of her beloved mother.


She taught English as a foreign language in Porto during night classes. This gave her enough time during the day to pen down her Harry Potter series.


After five months in Porto, Joanne met Jorge Arantes, a Portuguese TV journalist. They had a relationship and decided to visit Rowling’s family in Manchester.


The trip wasn’t a success because Joanne had a miscarriage that year. This event affected her relationship with Arantes, and she’d face all sorts of domestic abuse from him.


By the time they married in 1992, Joanne had written most of the series. They gave birth to Jessica in 1993.


That same year, the marriage was cut short. Rowling was bound to face another awful challenge in her life.


With no mother, husband, and an unconcerned father, Joanne moved to her sister’s house in Edinburgh with her daughter after Arantes had thrown her out of the house.


Not wanting to bore her sister, Joanne sought help from the government. She moved to a flat where she was considered “Mouse-ridden.” She had no choice but to push forward.


Seven years after graduating from the university, Rowling can only consider herself a failure. She was jobless, entangled with poverty, had a broken marriage, and had a dependent child to cater to. This was the true definition of hardship.


She was all alone to cater to her baby. Life became terrible. This event drove her into depression after Arantes came after her and Jessica. She filed for a divorce, and Arantes went back to Portugal.


Her mental health improved after nine months of therapy when she contemplated suicide. This improvement gave her the motivation to continue writing her book.


Becoming Successful

In 1995, Joanne Rowling completed Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone. She got Christopher Little to represent her, but a dozen publishers rejected her manuscript.


All children welcomed the novel. They loved it, and we’re eager to know what happened in the next chapter. This led Joanne to get a writer’s grant for the Scottish Arts Council.


She used the grant to support little Jessica and aid the publication of Chambers of Secrets, the next in the series sequel.


In July 1997, 500 copies of the first novel had been sold before the publication of the Chambers of Secrets. Rowling got about $4,200 in royalties.


It was her time to succeed when she heard about the auctioning of U.S rights at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. To her surprise, the rights were bought by Scholastic Corporation for $105,000.


She released Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 1998, and it became a New York Times Bestseller before the end of the year.


All her novels from the Harry Potter series sold for million copies. Some within days of publication. And she became who she is today.


-Joanne Rowling has seen both sides of life. From a happy home to a shattered adulthood. Yet, she remained focused. She didn’t allow her failures and rejections to bring her down.


-Be determined to achieve greater success beyond your failures or obstacles.


-Believe in yourself as there’s no limit to what you can achieve.


-Know that rejections, and failures are mere motivations, and nothing more.


“You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity.” J. K. Rowling.


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