This post was inspired by a recent conversation about jobs once held by famous writers.  Before I started writing, I had a full-time career as an Emergency Medical Technician and Firefighter (here is my story).


  • Mark Twain, (Samuel Clemens) first worked as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River.
  • Herman Melville once took a job as a surveyor on the Erie Canal.
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne worked as weigher and gauger at the Boston Custom House.
  • Steven King took odd jobs to pay for his living expenses, including one job at an industrial laundry.
  • J. K. Rowling worked as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International in London.
  • Kurt Vonnegut was a soldier and prisoner of war during World War II.
  • Danielle Steel worked for a public relations agency in New York called Supergirls for several years, before moving to San Francisco, and worked for Grey Advertising, as a copywriter.
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