How Famous Authors Made Ends Meet Before They Made It Big

We’re all about inspiration here at MJD so we really dig the fact that the inner author in all of us can truly make it big.

And so what if you’re scraping by right now? You’re definitely not alone.

Several famous authors proved they never gave up their craft while sucking it up doing menial jobs to pay the bills. Stephen King was a high school janitor after graduating from the University of Maine! In fact, according to Business Insider, his first book, Carrie, was inspired by his time spent cleaning girls’ locker rooms.

As for the author of Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger worked aboard a Swedish luxury liner to be an entertainment director. He didn’t stop writing and during this stint he wrote a few short stories, as pointed out in the piece.

How about another classic like The Scarlet Letter? As mentioned in the article, Nathaniel Hawthorne struggled for a long time as a writer and took a job as a weighter and gauger at Boston’s Custom House. In fact, his writing, too was inspired by the menial job. In the book, he named the introduction “The Custom House.”

Before winning four (yes, count ’em — four!) Pulitzer Prizes for poetry, Robert Frost was spotted gigging it by helping his mother teach at her school, delivering newspapers, and working as a light bulb filament changer in a factory.

As for one of Great Britain’s biggest contemporary authors, J.K. Rowling worked as a secretary and also as a teacher. Perhaps in hindsight, living in dire straights and ending up unemployed served her well — during this time she wrote her first Harry Potter book after getting bursts of wizardry inspiration on a train ride.

So, if you have the next great of fiction or non-fiction ready to come alive, never fear. Several authors did it while living an unglam life and they even channeled their situations into creating great pieces of literature.