Friday, March 28, 2014

Dale Carnegie Agrees: Writers Need to Have Fun

When I was in the work-a-day, nine-to-five world, I always looked forward to "Casual Fridays" because we could wear jeans to work.  I miss that little bit of fun and having something to look forward to at the end of the week now that I write at home ... soooo ... I decided to lighten up my Friday post a little.  Enjoy!


Match the authors with jobs/positions they held before they became famous authors.  Answers are at the bottom of the page.

1. J.D. Salinger A. Manager of Saab Dealership
2. Kurt Vonnegut B. Reservations Clerk for Eastern Airlines
3. Agatha Christie C. Cartoonist for Playboy Magazine
4. Franz Kafka D. Entertainment Director for Cruise Ship
5. Harper Lee E. Licensed Pharmacist
6. Tom McCarthy F. West Point Cadet (Dropout)
7. John Steinbeck G. Chief Legal Secretary for Accident Insurance
8. Edgar Allen Poe H. Nude Model
9. Jack London I. Fish Hatchery Manager
10. Shel Silverstein J. Oyster Pirate

If the duties of everyday life are worming their way into your writing time, you might consider following William Faulkner's example.  Before his writing career took off, WILLIAM FAULKNER worked for the Postal Service, as postmaster at the University of Mississippi. In his resignation note, he neatly summarized the struggle of art and commerce faced by many authors:
As long as I live under the capitalist system I expect to have my life influenced by the demands of moneyed people. But I will be damned if I propose to be at the beck and call of every itinerant scoundrel who has two cents to invest in a postage stamp. This, sir, is my resignation. - William Faulkner
Steven King received an English degree from the University of Maine, but couldn't find a teaching job after graduating and became a high school janitor instead.  After the publication of his first book, Carrie, King says he was inspired to write the book during his time cleaning the girl's locker rooms.

October 29, 1692 A tireless and ambitious businessman, Daniel Defoe invested in a variety of enterprises: wholesale hosiery, cargo shipping, trade in spirits and tobacco, and a diving bell to recover sunken treasure.  Most memorably, he purchased seventy civet cats (a native African cat-like mammal called a "toddycat" in England) from which he planned to manufacture perfume from the musk recovered, by spatula, from their anal glands. As with earlier ventures, his foray into the perfume business ended with a loss when creditors seized his cats.  They hounded him for the rest of his life, even after he left business behind for the new and more successful profession of authorship.

Answers to Authors Match Game
(1) D, (2) A, (3) E, (4) G, (5) B, (6) H, (7) I, (8) F, (9) J, (10) C

Note: I created the match game myself and copied the other tidbits from Huffington Post and Wikipedia sources.

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