J.K. Rowling Shares Her Secret to Success, And It Has to Do with Rule-Breaking!
To say that J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series and the Cormoran Strike mysteries, is the epitome of success doesn’t sound as deserving as it should. Nevertheless, the point is that she has come leaps and bounds from the life she had many decades ago and transformed her existence into everything she could ever wish for.
From Rags to Riches
Everyone knows about her humble beginnings as a single mother who had to rely on state benefits to survive. She was inches away from being homeless and living on the streets when she had a breakthrough in her writing career. That she managed to get the better of her misfortunes in astounding fashion, is, without a doubt, the textbook definition of moving from rags to riches.
According to Forbes, Rowling was the second-highest earning author of 2018, making $54 million and bested only by the prolific James Patterson, a ten-time number one of the World’s Highest-Paid Authors list.
No Rules Guarantee Success
As the book-wright puts it, she does not attribute her success to conventional wisdom. If anything, Rowling is appalled by the rigid structure to society conforms. As she tells anyone who would be interested in her impactful insights, there are no ‘ten-rule handbook to success’ that she can hand out to her fans in order to change their lives.
Instead, she advises that one should not limit or even pressure themselves to conform to the current societal norms. Rowling says that people should stop obsessing over time and how there are certain things that they must do before turning 30, or wear certain clothes just because they are in fashion. One attains success, she says, by following the path that everyone dismisses as a dead end.
She cites an example of the fallacies around children’s books when she penned down the first Harry Potter novel. Boarding schools were not fashionable, children’s books were not to be more than 45,000 words, and a male protagonist was not the in-thing. Still, she took it upon herself to break all these longstanding beliefs.
Her advice, therefore, is to ignore the “must do’s” and concentrate more on being a better individual. Embrace virtues such as humility and maintain positive character in matters discipline, independence, and resilience.
Additionally, she avers that one’s fear of failure being the reason they don’t set out on a venture they are passionate about is nothing short of sad – and tragic, even. To beat the fear, she continues, one has to admit to themselves that their output may not be perfect, but they have to give it their best shot.
In 2016, Rowling admitted that she was always wary of the fact that no publisher would accept her first manuscript. True, she did get rejected by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury took a chance on her. Before this, she had her first rejection letter pinned on her kitchen wall as a source of motivation.
Currently, Harry Potter is the best-selling book series of all time, with a worldwide audience. To reach them all, the series has been translated into eighty languages. Rowling sold the film rights to the series to Warner Bros., and the subsequent movie franchise has enjoyed the same success as its source material.
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