Infographic: Famous Authors and Their Weird Jobs

Weird-jobs-of-famous-writers-Chuck-PalahniukAll famous writers were born writing geniuses, but many still required day jobs while they found their way from obscurity to success.

Kurt Vonnegut sold Saab cars, and Harper Lee was a reservation clerk for Eastern Air Lines. J.D. Salinger worked as an entertainment director on a Swedish cruise liner. Charles Dickens labeled jars in a shoe polish factory, and was also a journalist.

Notably absent from the infographic is Hunter S Thompson, who worked as a security guard, caretaker, and was almost elected sheriff of Aspen, Co.

Speaking of Thompson, I think he would make a great start for an infographic on drugs consumed by famous writers. In his case, the answer would be “all of them”.



Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Tim Wilhoit31 July, 2015

    “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” Thompson was responsible for some rather creative writing while he was Airman Thompson of the U.S. Air Force.

    1. Nate Hoffelder31 July, 2015

      Heh. Thanks for that.

  2. Frank31 July, 2015

    Ken Kesey working at a mental hospital most likely helped him to write “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

  3. I see two successful janitors in the list. Perhaps that is where I should start my applications???

  4. Sharon Reamer1 August, 2015

    I thought I read (On Writing) that King actually taught high school English.

  5. Janet Ursel9 August, 2015

    Ten white, nine male. *sigh*

  6. […] Infographic: Famous Authors and Their Weird Jobs ( […]


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