Even famous writers didn’t start out as full-time writers. They had day jobs and summer jobs like the rest of us. Mental Floss has a great list of other jobs famous writers had, such as:
- Nabokov was an entomologist of underappreciated greatness. His theory of butterfly evolution was proven to be true in early 2011 using DNA analysis.
- Margaret Atwood first worked as a counter girl in a coffeeshop in Toronto, serving coffee and operating a cash register, which was a source of serious frustration for her. She details the experience in her essay, “Ka-Ching!”
- Harper Lee, author of one of the great American novels and winner of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, had worked as a reservation clerk at Eastern Airlines for years when she received a note from friends: “You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas.” By the next year, she’d penned To Kill a Mockingbird.
Harper Lee, you have the best friends ever.
Make sure to check out the full list. If anything, it’s a nice reminder that a bad job isn’t necessarily going to stop you from achieving literary glory.