Home > cultural commentary, fiction, Process and technique > What did famous writers earn?

What did famous writers earn?

Here’s a random thing I found via a group on Linkedin. It points out how many well-known writers had day jobs, what they did and what they earned.
Some were reasonably well paid – Henry Fielding and Trollope, for example – while others were on tiny salaries. Charlotte Bronte was paid a pittance as a governess, though used those experiences to write Jayne Eyre. Kafka did okay (though not brilliantly given his doctorate in law).
I guess the point is that even people we now regard as famous writers (your view of whether they were great writers may vary) still needed a day job and the security of its salary for most of their lives.
Links:
http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/visual/charts-graphs/day-jobs.php
http://papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/writing-stiffs/
The latter has some links in it to very nice essays about the experience of being a writer. You can go there to read them, there’s no point in repeating that stuff here!

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