Many successful writers started out in strange and sometimes even degrading work. While most people would be sapped of all inspiration, many great authors and poets were stimulated enough to write some of their greatest work.
Here are 10 remarkable jobs of the literary greats:
1. Stephen King
Acclaimed author found inspiration for Carrie while he was working as a high school janitor. King originally threw away his first draft of the story but fortunately wife Tabitha wanted him to continue writing the story because she wanted to know how it ended.
2. Margaret Attwood
The Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Attwood started out as a cash register clark, handling both the register and her ill-mannered boyfriend who would visit her just for a look.
3. Harper Lee
Harper Lee started out as an airline reservations clark, before her friends supported her financially, so she could write full-time.
4. John Steinbeck
Steinbeck had many odd and strange jobs before becoming a full-time writer: fruit picker, apprentice painter, estate caretaker, and a construction worker at Madison Square Garden.
5. Douglas Adams
Many writer's take on work just to make ends meet, and Adams was no exception. While working as a bodyguard for a wealthy Arabian family, he also wrote for radio shows and Monty Python.
6. Neil Gaiman
When his short stories weren't being picked up for publication, Gaiman became a freelance journalist, learning about the publishing world from the inside.
7. Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie had a vast knowledge of poisons, which isn't surprising when you discover she was an assistant apothecary.
Before The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger worked as an entertainment director on the H.M.S. Kungsholm, a Swedish luxury liner. He was writing and publishing short stories during this time.
9. Ken Kesey
Author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Ken Kesey, got his inspiration for the book while working as a janitor in a mental hospital. Along with his experience participating in the CIA study MKULTRA programme while a student at Stanford University.
10. Jack London
London would steal and resell oysters from the West Coast, because they were in such high demand. The term "oyster pirate" was mentioned numerous times throughout his work.
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