This paragraph about J.K. Rowling just makes me all warm and fuzzy. I ran across it on Wikipedia while doing some research (a Google search, what else?). It’s not new, just a stark reminder of the Universe’s sense of humor.
In 1995, Rowling completed her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on an old manual typewriter. Upon the enthusiastic response of Bryony Evans, a reader who had been asked to review the book’s first three chapters, the Fulham-based Christopher Little Literary Agents agreed to represent Rowling in her quest for a publisher. The book was handed to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected it. A year later she was finally given the greenlight (and a £1500 advance) by the editor Barry Cunningham from the small publisher Bloomsbury. The decision to take Rowling on was apparently largely down to Alice Newton, the eight-year-old daughter of the company’s chairman, who was given the first chapter to review by her father and immediately demanded the next. Although Bloomsbury had agreed to publish the book, Cunningham claims he advised Rowling to get a day job, as she had little chance of making money in children’s books.
And as we all know, Forbes has estimated Rowling’s fortune at just over a billion dollars. I love that she is the most surprised of all. After all, she was on public assistance when she wrote the first book. The context around the above paragraph is that she wrote a book for herself, not the masses. She wrote a story that was interesting to her. Common sense wisdom, not just for me but for those clients I coach whose first priority is mass appeal.
Write what comes naturally. You never know.