Sometimes it can feel like writers are split into two types: the rich and famous and the poor and struggling.
But every journey begins with the smallest step, mighty oaks from little acorns grow, and even Stephen King once had to sweep up discarded juice cartons after spotty teenagers.
Yes, looking into the humble origins of history's most successful writers can be a cathartic experience for any would-be authors, because lo and behold, they all once had day jobs - and quite a few of them weren't very nice at all.
Others, if we were to speculate wildly, may just have influenced their story lines and characters, which proves another old cliche correct: in writing, no experience is a waste of time.
Check out these 10 literary giants and what they did when they were in the rat race along with the rest of us...