I came across an interesting article by a writer named Alex Palmer called “Before They Were Famous: The Oddest Odd jobs of 10 Literary Greats”.
In it, Palmer describes some of the odd jobs famous writers did before they wrote that breakout novel. Did you know that Steinbeck once worked as a construction worker on Madison Square Gardens, or that J.D. Salinger was an entertainment director on a Swedish luxury liner? My favourite tidbit was about Harper Lee, who was generously given a gift of one year’s salary in order to be able to write. I’ve never received anything under my tree like that!
Read the article if you have a few minutes. You’ll be surprised at what they did!