The minute you hear the name JK Rowling, you probably think of Harry Potter. After publishing and producing the books and movies about the adolescent wizard, JK Rowling shot to stardom and fame. The Harry Potter series quickly became the best-selling book series in history. JK Rowling was not always as successful and prominent in the writing community as she is today.

Her life is truly a classic tale of rags-to-riches. Rowlings was first inspired to write the famed series while on a train trip to London. Unfortunately, she soon started on a years-long unfortunate turn of events. In rapid succession, she lost her mother to death, gave birth to her first child, and was divorced from her first husband. She soon found herself living on state welfare benefits for nearly five years before the first Harry Potter book was published in 2007. Six sequels followed, each more anticipated than the one before it, by her large and growing fan base.

Always aspiring to become a writer, JK Rowling wrote elaborate fantasy stories during her childhood.  Rowling says her teen years were plagued with unhappy times. Her mother suffered from debilitating illnesses and she had a very strained relationship with her father. Overcoming the difficulties of her upbringing, she longed to complete her college education. Rowling applied for acceptance to Oxford University but was denied. She spent a year studying abroad in Paris, after which she returned to London, where she worked as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International.

She went on to work for the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It was on a train ride to this job that she began dreaming of and working on the series that catapulted her to fame. Prior to that series coming to fruition, Rowling largely viewed her life as a series of failures. The demise of her marriage, a miscarried pregnancy, her inability to find a job, and her dependence on welfare, lead to a diagnosis of clinical depression. She used her illness and its effects on her life to create several of the Harry Potter characters. Rowling sank further into despair when her estranged husband sought her ought. She eventually obtained a protective order prohibiting him from contacting her or their child.

The success of the Harry Potter series has brought Rowling critical acclaim as a writer and helped her overcome depression and build a brighter life and future for herself and her daughter. Upon concluding the series, much to her fan’s dismay, she decided to further her writing career with other works, some published under a pen name. They include, The Casual Vacancy, The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm, and Career of Evil.

Staying true to yourself in the face of poverty and mental health challenges is not easy. Rowling shows women that holding on to your dreams is one way to keep yourself motivated and working toward a goal. JK Rowling is living proof that hardships do not need to get the best of you and that dedication and commitment to your craft bring the success and peace a good life is made of.


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