Unleashing the Magic: How Potter Wrote Her Way To Billions

“The height of my ambition for these books was, well frankly, to get reviewed,” Rowling admits. “A lot of children's books don't even get reviewed – forget good review, bad review.”

While she might not have expected her own success, Rowling has written herself – and her young wizard friend – into households across the world. Even people who have not read a single book in their life seem to now be finding themselves reading the Harry Potter series. How did this one time unemployed single mother living on welfare find her way not only into the world of the writing elite, but also into mainstream pop culture?

Perseverance: It took Rowling one year and thirteen publishers before she could get her story into bookstores, and even then she found it difficult to attract a following. But armed with faith in herself and the novel she had written, Rowling remained determined to conquer the critics and make people fall in love with Harry Potter.

Imagination: From changing her name to appeal to the masses to using a computer game to fight her own personal demons, Rowling took risks and challenged herself to be creative in solving her problems. She was both willing to bend the rules and play the game when need be.

Efficient: To some passengers, that four hour train delay between Manchester and London was an excuse to catch up on sleep or worry about the next appointment they were going to be late for. For Rowling, it was a chance to do some serious writing. She learned to make the most of her time, since every second counted.

Experience: For much of her adult life, Rowling had been surrounded by youth. Whether as a teacher or a mother, she had the chance to study children up close and personal that few others did. Combining her experience with children and her passion for writing, what Rowling was able to contribute to the world was unique and all the more successful as a result.

Focus: When Rowling first began frequenting coffee shops to pen Harry Potter, she had no idea it would soon be the inspiration behind a moaning toilet seat alarm. Now that her books have spawned a merchandising empire, she is quick to warn other entrepreneurs the value of staying close to their core product.

“Finishing has certainly made me look back a lot,” says Rowling. “It is almost incredible to me at times what's happened. And there are certainly moments when I imagine that I've dreamt it all.” Rowling has not dreamt it all. Indeed, her Potter empire will undoubtedly continue to rake in the sales for some time to come. And while she is grateful for her success, Rowling also notes that her passion for writing will have to be put on hold for the foreseeable future.

“I mean, I know I will definitely still be writing,” she says. “Will I publish? I don't know…but I do think back to what happened to AA Milne, and he of course tried to write adult novels, and was never reviewed without the mention of Tigger, Pooh and Piglet. And I would imagine that the same will happen with me. And that's fine. God knows my shoulders are broad enough, I could cope with that. But I would like some time to have some normal life at the end of the series, and probably the best way to get that isn't to publish immediately.”

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