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Inspiration from J.K. Rowling

Estimated Lesson Time: 1 minutes

J.K. Rowling (1965–) is the best-selling author of the Harry Potter book series.

Success is doing what you are passionate about. “I am an extraordinarily lucky person, doing what I love best in the world. I’m sure that I will always be a writer.”

Success is bringing about enthusiasm in others. Rowling has said that her greatest reward is the enthusiasm of her readers.

Success is believing in yourself. As of July 2013, between 400–450 million Harry Potter books have been sold, and each title has been on The New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Several publishers had turned down her finished manuscript before one took interest, each offering many reasons why her book would never do well.

Success is trusting in yourself. Publishers kept turning down the Harry Potter book mainly because “it was too long.” However, J.K. Rowling had enough confidence in her creation to persist until it was published.

Success is often about rough beginnings. The first reading J.K. Rowling did for her book was to about four people. The bookshop staff felt so sorry for her that they stood around and listened as well.

Success is dealing with criticism. The Harry Potter series, which some groups have attacked because of its themes of witchcraft and wizardry, was removed from a public school in Bridgeport Township, Michigan.

Success is brought on by inspiration. Rowling first thought of Harry while riding a train back in 1990. “Harry just strolled into my head fully formed.”

Success is patience. It was one year from the time Rowling finished her first book to the time a publisher bought it.

[Sources: http://www.biography.com, http://www.scholastic.com, http://www.infoplease.com]


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  • Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
  • Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
  • What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)
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    Year To Success
    Bo Bennett, PhD
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