Wednesday, March 19, 2014

They Were Crazy Too

    I have a physics exam today.  I’ve literally been studying for it for weeks and today is the big day. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll even be taking it as you read this post (it’s kind of a long test).
I’m currently a college student majoring in biology/pre-medicine. I get up early, do some reading, and write if I have the time.  I down a granola bar on my way to lab, then I go to class, and then I go back to lab.  In previous semesters, it’s been often that I don’t have a lunch break.  After class, I try to write articles, blog for my blog, blog for other people’s blogs, blog for this blog, answer emails, manage promotion and social media for Labyrinthof Lies, and then work on my new novel.  That’s what I would like to do, of course, but more often than not, I end up doing mounds of physics homework instead. I eat another granola bar or an apple, depending on what mood I’m in, and then I study for organic chemistry exams until the wee hours of the morning. And if I have any more time left over after that (which isn’t often), I try to write more articles. I attempt to get to bed by 2 am, but more often than I would like, it doesn’t happen.  I survive on coffee and the grace of God. Still, it can get pretty discouraging, trying to live two lives at once. 
I know I’m not the only one trying to live a life as crazy as this—at least that’s part of the chant I recite to myself to remain sane. Some, if not many, of you reading this have crazy day jobs too.  And if you’re anything like me, you probably grow discouraged and worn at times from trying to balance it all.  Quite honestly, there just aren’t enough hours in the day and it can be highly frustrating at times.
So, here’s a thought to hopefully brighten your day: many of “the greats” weren’t just writers either.  Lots of them had hectic day jobs too. 

Here is a list I’ve compiled of famous writers and their other, lesser known exploits:

·      T.S. Elliot was a bank clerk. He wrote poetry after dealing with people and their money all day.

·      Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a doctor.

·      W. Somerset Maugham was a doctor.

·      Michael Crichton was a doctor.

·      Oliver Wendell Holmes was a doctor too. I guess the insanity of the medical profession makes for good writers.

·      John Grisham supposedly worked for a whopping $1/hour watering shrubs at a nursery.  Wow.

·      William Faulkner was a power plant supervisor.

·      J. K. Rowling was an English teacher.

·      Harper Lee was a reservation clerk for Eastern Airlines before she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird.  For a Christmas present, her friends gave her a year off to work on her novel.  She had some pretty great friends, I think.

·      Stephen King was a janitor—definitely never saw that one coming! 

·      Emily Dickinson was the very proud owner of cats.

·      Jack London worked at a cannery, became an oyster pirate, and pursued many other unusual endeavors as well.

·      John Steinbeck worked as a tour guide for a fish hatchery and later worked at a warehouse.

·      James Joyce tried to make it as a musician.  He sang and played the piano. Who knew?

·      Earnest Hemmingway was a journalist—no surprise there.

·      Robert Frost was a newspaper boy, among other things.

The list goes on, but I do really very much need to go study :(
So, there you are.  Even some of the most famous, successful, and influential writers of all times had day jobs also—just like many of us.  Yes, they were crazy too, and to one degree or another, they managed to be successful despite the insanity.
Life is a balancing act, and I’m beginning to believe that we will never totally figure it out, that we won’t ever perfectly manage everything.  So what do we do then?  Well, exactly what they did!  Get up each morning and continue to do the work set before us. And never stop writing.

Oh, and to give credit where credit is due, I drew the information for this list from these wonderful sites:

Go forth and be productive!
<3 hannah="" p="">

Hannah Lokos is the author of Labyrinth of Lies, which you should definitely read. Hannah is very busy right now, but if you would like to shoot her a message, she will do her very best to reply! You can find her at, Twitter, GooglePlus, or Facebook


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Well, done, but don't neglect your health. A nurse friend of mine said many ER doctors develop fatigue syndrome and land in bed later in life. Now I hear it could be Lyme disease.

Writers come from many backgrounds. I just read a historical fiction about Robert Louis Stevenson. He studied law and architecture, the building of lighthouses. His father’s lighthouses were and are all over Scotland, but Louis as he was called ended up in Samoa to continue his writing in good health until he died of a stroke, not TB. Keep writing and we'll keep reading.