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Fighting Depression, Domestic Abuse, Rejection, and Poverty to a Global Success

The Unbelievable Journey of a Single Mother Who Became a Billionaire Author

By KamyaPublished 8 months ago 5 min read
Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

This is the story of a girl who grew up in a small town and enjoyed writing as a hobby. When she was just six years old, she wrote her first story about a rabbit named Rabbit who was sick with measles. She read the story to her mother who was impressed with her efforts and encouraged her to keep writing.

In school, she was known for being quiet and introverted. She spent a lot of time lost in her world of imagination and would constantly jot down ideas and stories in a small, worn notebook.

Unfortunately, when the girl was 15, her grandmother, with whom she had been very close, passed away. This was just the beginning of a series of unfortunate events in her life. Her relationship with her father deteriorated, and her mother fell ill with a debilitating brain disease.

The young girl was devastated by her mother's illness, which was the most significant shock of her life. Despite her mother's deteriorating condition, she tried her best to remain hopeful. However, her mother's health continued to decline, and she eventually passed away. This loss hit the girl hard, and she struggled to come to terms with it.

Life continued as usual, until one day when she stumbled upon a job advertisement for an English teaching position in Portugal while reading the local newspaper. Since she was on the lookout for a new job and a fresh start, she took the opportunity and traveled to Portugal to teach.

During her stay in Portugal, she happened to meet a TV journalist at a local bar. They struck up a conversation and discovered that they shared a common interest in the works of English novelist Jane Austen.

As they enjoyed each other's company, their relationship blossomed and they began spending more time together. Eventually, after a year of courtship, they tied the knot and started a happy life together. Later, they were blessed with the arrival of a beautiful daughter.

In the beginning, things were looking up for her. However, her life took a turn for the worse when she became a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband. One day, he kicked her out of their home, forcing her to leave the country with her newborn child. As a single parent, she struggled to make ends meet, relying on state benefits and the kindness of friends to help pay her rent.

She often went without food so that her daughter could eat. This period of her life was marked by poverty and hardship, leaving her feeling like a complete failure. Unfortunately, the string of bad luck seemed never-ending, and she soon fell into a deep depression. At one point, she even attempted to take her own life.

Despite her struggles, she found inspiration in her daughter and resolved to seek help. Eventually, she turned to writing as a way to cope with her pain. Fantasy novels were her specialty, and she threw herself into her work, forgetting about her troubles while sitting at her desk.

She would often go to cafes to write while her child napped, even though she couldn't afford to order food. To avoid being kicked out, she would order only a single cup of coffee during her writing sessions. Despite the challenges, she managed to complete the first three chapters of her novel this way.

She submitted her story to a publisher, but unfortunately, they quickly declined it. She tried sending it to another publisher, but the answer was once again a negative one.

Rejection letters began filling up her mailbox. After being rejected by all 12 publishers she had submitted to, she started losing faith in her book. Then, one day, the editor at Bloomsbury publishing company decided to give her story a read.

Luckily, the publisher's eight-year-old daughter was present there at the time. The young girl was enamored with the opening chapters and was eager to read the rest of the story.

This prompted the publisher to agree to publish the book. However, the publisher also suggested that she should find a full-time job since she wouldn't be able to earn much by writing fantasy stories for children.

At the age of 31, in June 1997, JK Rowling published her debut novel, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," with an initial print run of 1,000 copies. However, once readers got a taste of her story, demand for her books began to skyrocket.

Just five months later, her book won the Nestle Smarties Book Prize, marking her first literary award. Rowling went from being an unemployed and depressed single mother, living on state benefits, to becoming one of the most successful authors of all time. Her first book, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," has become one of the best-selling books in history.

Today, the seven-book Harry Potter series has sold over 450 million copies worldwide. Furthermore, the movie adaptations based on her books have grossed a staggering seven point seven billion dollars in box office revenue.

By Bloomsbury/J.K.Rowling -

Forbes magazine recognized JK Rowling in 2004 as the first writer to achieve billionaire status. Her success was not an overnight occurrence. While raising her child alone and dealing with depression, Rowling faced numerous rejections and setbacks.

These challenges ultimately made her more resilient and aided in the completion of her debut fantasy novel. Despite her fame and wealth, Rowling remained cognizant of the pain and difficulties she endured. In fact, her charitable contributions were so extensive that they resulted in her losing her billionaire status in 2011.

By Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The story of JK Rowling exemplifies the benefits of hard work. Her experiences teach us that rejection should not prevent us from pursuing our dreams. When we hit rock bottom, we should not let it consume us; instead, we should use it as a foundation upon which to build.

In her Harvard commencement speech, Rowling stated, "It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default."

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About the Creator


We should enjoy every moment fully, fall in love, make the most of our time, and live without regret. We should cherish the fact that there are still many moments in life that we have yet to experience for the last time.

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