What Influenced J.K. Rowling to Start Writing?

J.K. Rowling’s journey to becoming a renowned author was shaped by a combination of personal experiences, historical and literary influences, and a deep-seated passion for storytelling.

Personal Life and Experiences

Rowling’s personal life experiences had a profound impact on her writing. She faced several challenges, including the loss of her mother to multiple sclerosis when Rowling was just 25 years old.

This personal tragedy deeply influenced her work, as themes of loss and grief are prevalent in her stories.

Additionally, Rowling’s own struggles with depression and anxiety during her teenage years played a role in shaping the emotional depth and complexity of her characters and narratives​​​​.

Literary and Philosophical Influences

Rowling’s work was also heavily influenced by her reading of other authors. She admired the works of Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien, and later, the detective stories of Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie.

The Harry Potter series reflects a blend of these influences, combining elements of fantasy, mystery, and moral philosophy.

Rowling’s interest in philosophy, particularly the ideas presented in Plato’s “The Republic” and Disraeli’s “Sybil,” can be seen in the themes of justice, choice, and social commentary that run through her books​​​​.

Interest in Magical Lore and Enchantment

Another significant influence on Rowling’s writing was her fascination with magical lore and enchantment. She drew inspiration from historical texts and artifacts related to magic, alchemy, and legendary figures like Merlin.

The real history of magic and alchemy, along with ancient myths and legends, provided a rich background for the creation of the wizarding world in the Harry Potter series.

Rowling’s Writing Philosophy

Rowling’s approach to writing was shaped by her belief in writing what you know, reading extensively, persevering through challenges, and bringing one’s whole self to the writing process.

She emphasized the importance of embracing failure as part of the creative journey and continuously developing one’s skills and insights as a writer​​.

The Harry Potter Phenomenon

The success of the Harry Potter series can be attributed to Rowling’s masterful storytelling, which appealed to both children and adults.

Her ability to create a detailed fantasy world, filled with compelling characters and a mix of humor, horror, and adventure, resonated with a wide audience.

The series revitalized interest in reading and had a significant impact on the publishing industry, promoting fantasy literature for all ages​​​​.


In summary, J.K. Rowling’s journey to becoming an author was influenced by her personal experiences, literary and philosophical interests, and a dedication to her craft.

These elements combined to create the rich, immersive world of Harry Potter that continues to captivate readers around the globe.


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