J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless….I was the biggest failure I knew…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.

Complete transcript at Harvard Magazine. Official Harvard Magazine embed. © J K Rowling.