Not-So-Literary Jobs of Famous Writers
I have a day job. I edit content for the Discovery News Tech website. I also have a life that fills up with lots of activities that have nothing to do with writing. So squeezing in the time to write feels just like that, a squeeze. Sometimes I fantasize about how wonderful it would be to not have a job, and simply focus all of my energy on writing fiction. But I wouldn’t be able to pay the bills. I’m not alone in this wishful thinking, and that’s a little consolation. There are plenty of writers in the same boat, working a day job to pay the bills and squeezing in the time to write. You might be one of them. Take heart knowing that plenty have come before you, working jobs that had nothing to do with writing fiction. Here are a few:
George Orwell: officer of the Indian Imperial Police
Herman Melville: cabin boy on a cruise liner
Kurt Vonnegut: worked in public relations for General Electric
Jack London: oyster pirate
John Steinbeck: tour guide at a fish hatchery
Jack Kerouac: railroad brakeman
Richard Wright: postal clerk
Joseph Heller: blacksmith’s apprentice
Joseph Conrad: gunrunner
Harper Lee: reservation clerk at Eastern Airlines
We’re in good company.
Photo: Jack Kerouac. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Very inspiring post! We are in very good company indeed 😉
What is your day job?
Robin Coyle – wife, mom, and doer of laundry.
Big job. Low pay.
Hmmm….more like NO pay.
God bless you for sharing that. You have lifted my spirits after a difficult day.
Glad to help. Push through. BE BOLD!
You’re absolutely right. I’m a translator and procrastinator. And like Robin, I’m also a wife, mother, doer of laundry and hauler of seemingly endless bags of groceries (2 teenage boys and a husband who runs 10 miles a day can eat massive quantities of food…).
Mary, what are you writing these days?