3 Famous Writers Who Have Overcome Hardship

By Maya Koparkar

Sometimes, it can be hard to stay motivated as a writer. Maybe your writing isn’t garnering the reception or encouragement that you originally aimed for. Maybe you’re running out of ideas, stuck in a rut, or even facing blatant rejection. While these setbacks can be tough to overcome, they are things that all writers have had to deal with. Some of the most famous writers had careers filled with hardships and setbacks, but despite these, managed to still come out on top. Here are a few examples:

1. J.K. Rowling

One of the world’s most beloved authors had a tough start to her career. Coming from a troubled home, as a young adult, Rowling struggled with clinical depression and wrote her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, while living on welfare. After completing her first draft, the majority of which she had spent writing in coffee shops, she sent it to 12 different publishing houses. None of them would publish her work. Finally, a relatively small publisher, Bloomsbury, agreed to publish her book, and the rest is history. J.K. Rowling ended up becoming a billionaire due to the success of Harry Potter, however she ended up losing “billionaire” status because she gave so much of her wealth away to support various causes.

2. Stephen King

The man whose name is synonymous with modern horror fiction came from a life of poverty. King lived in a trailer when he wrote his first novel, Carrie, and he wrote on a makeshift desk in between his laundry machines. Originally having the goal of becoming a teacher, King couldn’t find work and ended up dabbling in odd jobs such as working at a laundromat and working as a janitor. When King first started writing Carrie, he became so frustrated with his work that he ended up throwing the pages in the trash. His wife went through the trash, pulled out the pages, and realized that King was on to something. Throughout the course of his writing process, she guided and encouraged him when he needed it the most. Eventually, Carrie went on to become a best-seller and set the stage for the rest of King’s work.

3. Dr. Seuss

One of the most widely-adored authors for both children and adults has to be Dr. Seuss. His works compose the backbone of many people’s childhoods, and most could not imagine growing up without Dr. Seuss. Originally, though, Dr. Seuss’s work did not receive this kind of attention. In fact, his very first manuscript for the book And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street was rejected by not 1, not 10, but 27 different publishers. In fact, he was almost about to burn it, until one of his classmates who had just entered to publishing business agreed to be his publisher. While it may not be his best, most successful, or most memorable books, the world would never have gotten to know Horton Hears a Who, Green Eggs and Ham, or the Lorax had this first book not launched his very long and illustrious career.

So next time something is getting you down, just remember to keep persevering. Overcoming setbacks is what is going to make you a stronger, more resilient writer, and who knows where you’ll end up as a result?

About Maya Koparkar: Maya Koparkar is an 18-year old university student from McGill University with a passion for writing and sharing what she has to say with the world. Beyond her work with Write Local, she runs her own blog: www.chlorinatedmind.tumblr.com.

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