Welcome to the new 4000 Saturdays Hall of Fame, recognising the most inspiring achievements by heroes, both well known and unsung.
J.K Rowling, the author of Harry Potter (as if you didn’t know!) makes the 4000 Saturdays Hall of Fame for not quitting despite the many adversities she faced before the world came to know her name.
Today’s headlines are full of the phenomenal success stories of “One of the world’s richest women” and “The Most successful living author”, but it is easy to forget the many adversities she faced before her worldwide success. These include:
– Having her Harry Potter novel rejected by twelve major publishers (most people would have given up at this point)
– Living on Social Security, but still willing to dream, focus and have a vision for a better future (the 4000 Saturdays mantra!).
– Being as a single mum. For most, trying to bring up a child single-handedly is enough of a challenge in its own right. J.K. Rowling had to also deal with another handful of unruly kids, including Harry, Ron, Hermione, Malfoy…
– Being rejected from Oxford University despite achieving the required entry grades.
– Receiving a (Ron) measly advance of just £1,500 ($2,000) from her book publisher.
– Dealing with the death of her mother to multiple sclerosis (MS) whilst birthing the idea of a certain little wizard.
– Having to write drafts for the first book in cafes
– Being subject to domestic violence in a marriage that lasted a very short time
– Finding herself in “an unheated, mouse-infested flat, looking after my daughter” after her marriage broke down
– Receiving REM’s album, ‘Automatic For The People’, as a Christmas present which Rowling played “Everybody Hurts” on repeat as her personal anthem.
– Experiencing depression and a continuing feeling and guilt that she was failing in mothering her daughter.
– With turbulent finances, she was told by her publisher that there was no financial reward in children’s books.
– Was pushed by her publisher to use unambiguous initials as her author’s name as “boys would not read a novel written by a woman”.
Despite all this, J.K Rowling has gone on to sell over 400 million copies of the world’s most successful book series in history, and all in less than 15 years. Understanding her backstory can be an inspiration to us all.
Never, give up on your dream.