The 10 Best Quotes From J.K. Rowling

The 10 best quotes from J.K. Rowling

She was the woman behind the phenomenon that captured the minds and hearts of millions of readers around the world and the movies, based on the books, became the highest grossing film series of all time.  J.K. Rowling wrote the hugely successful Harry Potter series while she was a single parent living on benefits in Edinburgh. Rowling moved to Edinburgh to be closer to her sister after her marriage broke down, and she completed her first Harry Potter book in a café. She wrote most of the series in cafés, saying: “Writing and cafés are strongly linked in my brain.”

The Elephant House

What other wisdom does Rowling have to offer? Here at Your Coffee Break, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite Rowling tidbits…

Her own story is that of rags to riches, going from poverty to one of the richest women in the UK within five years. Rowling explained that the situation she found herself in after her first marriage came to an end was a strong driving force in achieving her dreams: “I was set free because my greatest fear had been realised, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Describing the situation she was in at the time of writing her first Harry Potter book, Rowling said: “Poverty entails fear and stress and sometimes depression. It meets a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts that is something on which to pride yourself but poverty itself is romanticised by fools.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsThe idea for Harry Potter came to Rowling while she was sitting on a delayed train. She describes herself as having an “overactive imagination” and looks back on her parents’ view of this trait saying: “However my parents – both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing quirk that would never pay a mortgage or secure a pension.”

Following her success she tells us of the young wizarding boy: “Harry Potter gave me back self-respect. Harry gave me a job to do that I loved more than anything else.”

Rowling is very philosophical about her success story and again describing her journey, she says: “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 have failed by default.”

The novelist has used her financial success to help many others stating: “I think you have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.”

Harry Potter Studio Tour

Advice to bussing writers? “The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.” 

Harry Potter turned Rowling into a worldwide household name, something she never really expected.  “The fame thing is interesting because I never wanted to be famous, and I never dreamt I would be famous.” She explains. And after she completed the series she commented: “I think I’ve really exhausted the magical. It was a lot of fun, but I’ve put it behind me for the time being.”

All images via Creative Commons: Harry Potter studio tourHarry Potter Cover Elephant House café, 

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. She studied English Literature at Fairfield University in Connecticut whilst taking evening classes in journalism at MediaBistro in NYC. She then pursued a BA degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK. With a background working in the PR industry in Los Angeles, Barcelona and London, Charlotte then moved on to launching Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden and has been running the online magazine for the past 10 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a bit too much effort into perfecting her morning brew.