Many book authors didn’t start off being bestselling writers. They started with all sort of jobs. Here are a few of the odd jobs writers have worked prior to their success as book authors.
Charles Dickens, author of The Tale of Two Cities — At age 12, he worked in a shoe polish factory labeling jars.
William Faulkner, author of The Sound and the Fury — He worked as a postmaster at the University of Mississippi. At one time, he also worked night shifts at the boiler room of the university.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby — His first job was writing slogans for trolley placards at an advertising agency.
James Joyce, author of Ulysses — He composed melodies, played piano and guitar, sang songs, and earned a living as a performer.
Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest — He worked as a janitor at a mental hospital.
Stephen King, author of Carrie and The Stand — His job as a high school janitor inspired his first novel.
Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman — She worked as a clerk for Eastern Air Lines.
Jack London, author of Call of the Wild — He was an oyster pirate (someone who steals and sells oysters).
Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club — He worked as a dishwasher, movie projectionist, bicycle messenger, diesel mechanic, and assembly line mechanic for Freightliner before becoming a full-time writer.
J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye — He worked as an entertainment director for a Swedish cruise ship.
Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughterhouse-Five — He worked as a Saab car dealer.