J: J. K Rowling #AToZChallenge

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We all have heard of many 'rags to riches' stories, but this one is the most inspirational. While on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990, Joanne Rowling conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series, the story of a young boy attending a school of wizardry. We all know the series to be world famous today, but it was not an easy task for the author to get to where she is.

While she was writing the story of Harry Potter, she lost her mother, went through a divorce, was a single mother with almost no means for survival. During this period, she was diagnosed with clinical depression and contemplated suicide. This would later become an inspiration for the Dementors, the soul sucking creators that were introduced in the third book. Even when she was in a terrible state of mind, she continued writing. She channeled her own feelings of loss by writing about Harry's own feelings of loss in greater detail in the first book. Every phase of her life has made it to her books in one way or the other. When she was totally jobless with a dependent child, she signed up for welfare benefits, describing her economic status as being "poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless".

From living on welfare benefits to becoming the the world's first billionaire author, she sure has come a long way. In 1995, she finished her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on an old manual typewriter. The book was then submitted to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected the manuscript. It was only a year later that she found a publisher in Bloomsbury, a publishing house in London. Anticipating that the target audience of young boys might not want to read a book written by a woman, her publishers asked that she use two initials rather than her full name. As she had no middle name, she chose K for Kathleen as the second initial of her pen name, from her paternal grandmother. Thus, J. K Rowling was born and the first book was published in 1997 and five months later, the book won its first award, a Nestlé Smarties Book Prize. Then, the novel won the British Book Award for Children's Book of the Year, and later, the Children's Book Award. From then on, there was no looking back.

Harry Potter is now a global brand worth an estimated US$15 billion, and has been translated, in whole or in part, into 65 languages. The series also has gained recognition for sparking an interest in reading among the young at a time when children were thought to be abandoning books for computers and television. In 1998, Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to the first two novels for a seven-figure sum, where the author had overall approval on the scripts. She lost her billionaire status after giving away much of her earnings to charity, but remains one of the wealthiest people in the world. While she support various charities, she also has launched her own charity, Lumos.

Here's a woman who did not give up on life no matter how hard it was for her. She built an entire universe on a single idea. Her wild imagination turned out to be magical in the literal sense and I'm so proud to have been a part of her dream even if only as a reader.

J. K Rowling's life has been as magical as her books and that is only because she believed in the power of magic and got us to believe in it too. She'll continue to be an inspiration to many of us for years to come.

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I'm participating in the April A to Z Challenge for 2019 and my theme is Wonder Women.

17 comments:

  1. I am in awe of this woman! What a story, na? All you need to do is read about her and you get goosebumps. You also get inspired to keep going ahead, come what may!

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  2. She is a woman I know a lot about and really admire. Not only her writing which is iconic but how she faced hardship and triumphed!

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    1. That's what makes her more inspirational!

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  3. JK Rowling's life story is truly awe-inspiring and the best rags to riches story. Her books are magical. Period. I love how she puts down twitter trolls and online bullies as well.

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  4. I did read about her, but not in so much detail. Truly inspiring. I think we need to give ourselves more credit than we do. And, keep at it.

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    1. They should make a movie on her life alone :)

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  5. What a fab choice for J. She is indeed inspirational. Imagine being rejected by 12 publishers and not giving up! Amazing.

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    1. Thank you, Tulika. She sure deserves this.

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  6. I just love how she gives back so much...

    Happy A-Z'ing. :-)

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    1. That's the best part about her. Thank you, wishing you a very happy A to Z too :)

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  7. She is a true inspiration. Her story is motivating and teaches us to never give up. Her writing is magical and I hope she goes on write more and more.

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  8. I just adore this woman. Her story is so inspiring.

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  9. What can I say about this woman that I haven't already said a 1000 times before? Nothing.

    Except maybe that her story fills me with renewed inspiration every single time I read it.

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