Joanne Rowling is a British novelist, philanthropist, film producer, television producer and screenwriter, best known for writing the Harry Potter fantasy series.
The books have won multiple awards, and sold more than 500 million copies, becoming the best-selling book series in history. A voracious reader from an early age, Rowling said she based the character of Hermione Granger on her 11-year-old self.
Rowling has lived a “rags to riches” life story, in which she progressed from living on state benefits to being the world’s first billionaire author. She has lost her billionaire status after giving away much of her earnings to charity, but remains one of the wealthiest people in the world.
“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.
Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. 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.”