Apr 18

Rejection. Persistence. Success. The J. K. Rowling Way. #AtoZChallenge 2015 @AprilA2Z

‘P is for Persistence | Positive & Inspired Living A to Z’

“By every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.” 

Those are the words of J.K. Rowling – the author whose Harry Potter Book Series has sold over 450 million copies in over 67 different languages, and who is supposed to be richer than the Queen of England. Odd words from someone so hugely successful. Don’t you think?

Her success might be full of glamour, but her journey is anything but glamourous. She was newly divorced, raising her daughter as a single parent, living off meagre unemployment benefits and battling clinical depression while writing the book series that made her one of the best-selling authors of all time.Persistence

She sent the manuscript of her first book to 12 different publishers and got rejected by every single one of them. Then one day, the editor at Bloomsbury Publishing sat down to read the manuscript, and so did the editor’s 8 year old daughter. The little girl fell in love with the story, and begged to read what happened next. This made the publisher agree to publish Rowling’s debut novel. Nonetheless, he did warn Rowling that she should get a day job, as she wouldn’t make much money writing children’s books.

In a year’s time, ’Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ was published, and the rest like they say is history.

This story never fails to inspire me. It reminds me of the power of persistence in face of rejection and failure.

A book series like Harry Potter was rejected 12 times before a small publisher gave it a chance. What would have happened if J. K. Rowling had given up after the first rejection? Or the fifth? Or the eleventh?

Lots of Love


*Source for facts mentioned in this post – www.jkrowling.com

This post is written for the AtoZChallenge2015.



  1. ‘I think I can. I think I can’ said the little train. Believing and the power of positive thinking will get you where you want to be. Always.

    –Mee (The Chinese Quest)
    Mee Magnum recently posted…“O” is for Orient #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  2. We never know when we will succeed. We just have to keep doing our part. Because the next time might be a success. Loved this post Shantala 🙂 I love Harry Potter series too and I am so glad that the daughter of the publisher showed so much interest in it 😀
    Swathi Shenoy recently posted…P. S. I Love YouMy Profile

  3. Such a lovely story, right? Fact is always so much more fascinating than fiction. Kind of apropos that I shared that post about self-promotion as an author on B-A-R today, don’t you think? 😉

    *Shailaja/Alternate Angles/A-Z*
    Shailaja recently posted…Play- #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  4. Truly inspiring, Shantala. Persistence will bring success eventually. 🙂
    Vinitha recently posted…Life Taught Lessons – O #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  5. Given up on the eleventh time? That would have been heart breaking! You have brought great points in the post! Lots of positivism.
    Shalini recently posted…Forever alone No more- PMy Profile

  6. As you’ve said, this is always an inspiring story each and every time I read it…
    Archana recently posted…P is for PL Deshpande GardenMy Profile

  7. 😀 I could just lift this off for my own P post, Shantala.It is perfect.Failure should just be taken as motivation, although it doesn’t look at it at the moment.
    Vidya Sury recently posted…NourishMy Profile

  8. Now that’s persistence and a never say die attitude. Believing that the tide will turn for good is extremely important and so glad that you focused on that here. Wonderful lesson for all of us!
    Parul recently posted…P for PatriarchyMy Profile

  9. So inspirational!

    Thanks Shantala for this.
    Soumya recently posted…O: Ocean Of LifeMy Profile

  10. Thanks for reminding us of this great story. Most encouraging!
    Shirley Corder recently posted…P is for Port ElizabethMy Profile

  11. That’s an interesting snippet Shantala! She faced rejection so many times for THAT book is unbelievable!! Persistence indeed pays…
    the little princess recently posted…P for Platonic loveMy Profile

  12. Prasanna says:

    J K Rowling’s story never fails to inspire me. She is the finest writer and I love HP. Thank God she didn’t give up after those failed attempts. Thank you so much for sharing her story 🙂

  13. A truly inspiring story of perseverance that I need to remember! 🙂
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…Five Sentence Fiction: Isolation.My Profile

  14. Persistence in the face of rejection is, indeed, the secret of success…but it takes a lot of will power! Good selection.
    Nisha Sanjeev recently posted…Writer’s Ezine – Writing one word at a time…My Profile

  15. Thanks for bring the story and JK Rowling is an inspiration when I feel down, proving that determination unfurls extraordinary, Shanaya:)

  16. Nice quote as always.
    Definitely for success Persistence and Patience hold the key 🙂
    salvwiprasad recently posted…Pleasant momentMy Profile

  17. Inspiring post, we must never give up at the first sign of failure. Every rejection is a step closer to success.

  18. Truly inspiring. There are many greats who have succeeded just because they never gave up.

    Nice post on the prompt.

  19. Great message! I am in the process of writing my own first book so this comes at a perfect time. 🙂
    Katy recently posted…P is for PinterestMy Profile

  20. I’ve often heard that the most common personality trait of successful people is persistence. Success of a writer seldom takes place overnight even though it may seem so.

  21. Yes! JK Rowling is the ideal role model for us authors/bloggers!
    My “J for” post was on JK Rowling! Could you please read it?

    Thanks so much! 🙂
    Mithila Menezes @Fabulus1710 recently posted…P for ProngsMy Profile

  22. Writing is a game of trying and trying again. Never give up–you don’t know how it might work out in the end!
    Megan Morgan recently posted…P is for ProductivityMy Profile

  23. That’s simply wow..!! Persistence is the key.. no matter how much you get rejected, your hard work will speak one day for yourself..
    Feeling inspired Shanaya..

    Geets recently posted…P- PoisonMy Profile

  24. It’s wonderful to hear of such inspirational stories.
    In this case persistence certainly pays!
    Good one, Shantala.
    Would love to see what you come up with Q.

  25. Inspiring indeed but we also need to introspect how we judge success.
    read my 3atozchallenge posts at my blog in the memory of my late father.

  26. Her success story is very inspiring indeed. Thanks for sharing.

  27. This is my most favourite story of inspiration! <3
    Nibha recently posted…P.S. I Love YouMy Profile

  28. YES! Her story is a great inspiration – to all writers all over I think. You feel like getting extra “go for it” reading about the roadblocks she passed – never give up, thats for sure! Thanks for sharing:-)
    Eli recently posted…P for PeopleMy Profile

  29. Rowling’s story is truly inspiring. I read up on her last year for my A to Z on Amazing Authors and found her life was so full of struggle at every turn yet she stuck on. She must have had complete faith in her story.

  30. Very inspirational post….I am inspired!!!! 🙂
    Madhumita Phukan recently posted…Pain in mind and soulMy Profile

  31. I agree, that if we want something we must keep trying until it is accomplished!
    Diana @ Life in German. recently posted…P is for Personal development.My Profile

  32. JK Rowling’s story truly is inspiring! 🙂 Thank goodness the little girl read it and loved it as I imagine it would still have been rejected. Good for JK Rowling to persist with publishing her book. 🙂 <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted…#A to Z Challenge: P is for … Poetry!My Profile

  33. Closer home Ashwin Sanghi was rejected 47times for Rozabel Line.
    Persistence and perseverance is the key! Loved the quote!
    Ruchi Singh recently posted…Pink InfatuationMy Profile

  34. My sons recently got an inspirational message from the karate instructors about how Rowlings, Einstein, Edison, and Oprah were rejected roundly but still persisted! It’s a very important message for us all!
    Roshni recently posted…The World between the WiresMy Profile

  35. Truly inspirational. I shall write my book and not give up.
    Suzy recently posted…Love is in the Air – ProtectorMy Profile

  36. I get goosebumps every time I read her story or hear her speech. So much struggle and persistence. She deserves her success.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Pigeon PoseMy Profile

  37. It’s so easy to give up as an author. I have felt this myself recently, while I never sent my book to publishers, I would not give up if that was the path I was to go down. My book was my baby and she simply needed to be birthed, I hope more get to see it eventually as it is a really good book (blowing my trumpet here!).
    Kelly Martin recently posted…P Is For POVERTYMy Profile

  38. JK Rowling is an inspiration.

  39. I have read this story before and it does inspire me too. Especially for writers this is something we should always remember. And why just writers, I guess everybody needs to read and follow this.
    Jyotsna Bhatia recently posted…Q – QuicksandMy Profile

  40. Her tale is so inspiring. I was in awe when I read it for the first time. I hope it inspires all wannabe authors to persist and believe in themselves.
    Rachna recently posted…The Royal and spectacular JodhpurMy Profile

  41. J. K. Rowling’s story is indeed inspiring and that can be said of the books she has written. Makes you marvel at her creativity and more importantly, her imagination to the finest detail. She is one of my inspirations and her life story (before and after) is proof of her struggle. If she had accepted failure after the first attempt, it would have been our loss that such a wonderful book series wouldn’t have reached the masses. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Eloquent Mind recently posted…Tears #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  42. I love Harry Potter and I have read them all three times. This summer I am about to start the fourth run and I’m out reading up for inspiration. It’s not like spoilers are an issue after so many reads 😉
    Anna recently posted…Min bästa läsning – Harry PotterMy Profile

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