Article: 6 Famous Writers Who Never Made A Dime

Article: 6 Famous Writers Who Never Made A Dime

This is just plain interesting! Here’s the article:


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hi writers readers how is everyone doing out there we got some snow last night which was unexpected because it's supposed to be in the 70s this week so what is that I might look a little overblown because I sit in front of a window and the snow is that bright that is actually maybe overblowing me but anyway I hope you guys are doing great hello – Anita Joe amber and Travis thank you guys for coming it's great to see you all here so I want to just quickly say I discovered something everyone else knew about recently so I'm now on this app called me rocky em I are a ke E and it's basically an app where this isn't an ad I'm just telling you something you might find interesting it's just um it's an app where you can write and you can share with other people but you can also share it to Instagram and it has they have a lot of backgrounds that you can use for free already pre-loaded and different fonts so I'm starting to use that and share to Instagram but I'm not sharing everything to Instagram so if any of you is on that come join me my username is just Christy Stratus I think it's with no space in between but you'll see that stuff go up on Instagram as well I just wanted to recommend it real quick because I actually really like it a lot okay and now for the main event when I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about today I decided it was a really busy week and I didn't have too much time to do some research on like some news or anything like that that I like to do a lot of the time so I found this this really interesting article that was all about writers who actually never made money off of their craft or at least not enough to support them and these are super famous authors and I was really surprised by who was among those numbers so I thought that I could share that information with you and I'd love to hear if you like this author these authors at six of them if you like these authors what your favorite work was anything like that and I'm gonna do the same thing I was really shocked so this one is put together by big thing calm and it's some stuff I did know some stuff I really had no clue about and the first one that I really had no clue is Lovecraft where is Mike Pilgrim because that's one of his favorite authors Lovecraft apparently never made enough to actually live so I'm going to read a little bit from the article so you don't I mean you can visit it the link is down below and I'm still gonna read a little bit I can't remember everything they said but it says that basically he was he actually never earned enough money to cover his basic expenses and he actually reached a point where he had to skip meals just to afford postage stamps like which is really extreme we always hear about the broke writer the drunk right you know all kinds of creatively you know out there writer and everything but this is like wow that's extreme and it's a just so shocking cuz he's huge and he is like a cult following to people who loved Lovecraft loved Lovecraft you know so apparently this is something I didn't know and no I have not had time to double check these facts so I'm just going with it I hope they're true a planned project with Harry Houdini which would have earned him a great deal of money had to be abandoned when Houdini died I won't know what that project was so that's fascinating he also apparently Lovecraft did not reply to a publisher that inquired about any novels he might have ready so obviously he lost out on that deal what a shame so it seems like you know there were a mix of things that led to this which is a real shame and actually if you know anything about Montgomery Clift he had a similar thing with his business sense where he I mean obviously he was super famous he made enough money to support himself but he actually had someone advising him I think in the first half or the beginning of his career who actually did him out of a lot of amazing parts because he listened to her advice and she was dead wrong so anyway yeah I needed a saying I'm with you love crafts and Houdini sounds interesting I know I can't get over that I want to know what that is and amber is also saying yeah I'd love to know me too I just can't get over that my favorite Lovecraft is the shadow over Innsmouth and that one is just like I feel like as a writer you can learn from that and I've wanted to for a while go through the end of that and I can't like tell you the in case you haven't read it I don't want to spoil it for you it's a brilliant piece to me of the pieces I've read by him it has the most personality it's just brilliant and the end is so impactful and he does such a good job and in a way that I find very difficult it's a transition that is super tough to be convincing that's all I'll say and so I actually really want to study it more and see exactly how he goes about that joe says Houdini was going to make Lovecraft's cancer disappear really if that's actually it does say in this article that Lovecraft died of cancer around 46 I think Wow okay that's really kind of oh it's serious he's just joking Oh Joe he actually did have cancer I would I could see it you know maybe it was Anita says maybe it was a paranormal debunking John seriously I'm very so anyway um there is a movie out there with I can't remember his name it's from the fifties I want to say about Houdini that has a lot of facts wrong good movie incorrect facts anyway the next writer who didn't really make money is Kafka what like that's crazy to me Kafka is actually one of my biggest influences and it really shocks me because his work is obviously we study that in English Lit and I remember reading what was it oh it just flat in my head metamorphosis I have a shirt for it because I love it so much I remember reading metamorphosis and that piece really actually changed how I thought about fiction and it was part of my world Lit class and I never forgot it it really changed the way I look at being able to just having no boundaries and actually there's a dedication in the beginning of anatomy of a darkened heart that is to my professor dr. Billings who taught that class and where I first discovered there are just no boundaries to fiction and I always thought that there were so it made a huge difference for me and if you've ever read any of my symbolic experimentalism you know what I mean and if you haven't then go check out check it out on my website look for oxygen to find which you can read in literary journal where it was published but anyway love cry I'm sorry Kafka we've moved on – I'm gonna read a little bit from the article did publish some works in his lifetime but he kept most of his work to himself and ordered it burned after his death does this not sound like Jason green sighs Jason if you happen to be watching this he had said at some point that he really wants to write a great novel and then burn it before anybody gets to read it so he's apparently very Kafka um we got to tell him that no his friends went to the publishing house instead but he was unable to during his lifetime support himself with his writing so he took on a lot of jobs and was writing in the evening much like a lot of us which is why I think this is an interesting subject because these super famous writers are much like many of us actually which i think is very encouraging and apparently his most prosperous job was as an insurance clerk so if you've got a job that you really like or even you don't really like but it makes you the money to write your Kafka that's cool there's nothing wrong with that you know so that's a surprising one man that shocked me the next one did not shock me so much this is Emily Dickinson I have one of her collections of poetry it is absolutely beautiful and I remember writing I hope I held that up okay I wasn't looking sorry if you didn't see it oh there we go I want to get rid of some of this shine yeah so I mean her poetry is absolutely gorgeous is another thing you always study in English Lit which is one of the reasons this is fascinating because we study these people as the greats and yet they didn't make livings off of what they wrote now this I do believe because she was a recluse and I think we all or most of us would know that and so it's not too surprising that she didn't really make money but or enough money so this says she wrote eighteen nearly eighteen hundred poems which actually I didn't realize it was quite that many eighteen hundred poems of which less than a dozen were published during her lifetime and often heavily edited okay that stuff I don't think I knew I knew that a few were published but not that many so and it's been continuously published after her death this is frustrating this is a thing that two artists where they make money posthumously and it's very frustrating because they're great artists that nobody recognized at the time her style is very very different and in this they're they're saying that she wanted to gain feedback on her experimental style which is interesting because I never really thought of her style as experimental different yes but it must have been at the time experimental very very different as you guys probably know just in case you don't though a lot of her work had a lot of I wish I had picked out an experiment and an example beforehand but a lot of her work had a ton of em dashes in it and I'm just flipping through to see if I can find and it was very different from a lot at the time a lot of the time was not formatted with very short lines that I have seen anyway I could be wrong you know of course feel free to correct me but a lot of it was short and a lot of it had short lines and I just didn't see a ton of that at the time from my personal studies but he did do a lot of dashes which I'm actually not finding here right now but that was always what I read in her work and I remember writing in college like analyzing one poem that I think had something to do with a fly and and the way she breaks apart these sentences these stanzas everything the way she breaks them apart is part of probably they're expensive experimental nature but you can't analyze the meaning depending on where she breaks those things and I just love it and actually just today and Joe Joe's going D now live with JD Estrada JD was mentioning that with poetry he really likes poetry that has a lot of meanings to it and I am also a fan of that I don't really like when you read poetry that's just sort of like you know there's one meaning there's two meanings like I want to be able to rip it apart and he said he doesn't like you know to be overly analytical I'm the opposite I love being overly analytical I'll rip it to shreds being overly analytical and I think that's a lot of fun myself I do understand where people come from when they don't want to be that way but for me as part of the fun there's still a Houdini chat going on going on in the show okay so Joe is sharing some interest think things over here we're back to Lovecraft the Houdini thing just found this everybody he says and he quotes a long-lost manuscript by HP Lovecraft and investigation of superstition through the ages that the author was commissioned to write by Harry Houdini has been found Wow in a collection of magic memorabilia oh my gosh oh it's such a shame that didn't happen oh wow the cancer of superstition was previously known only in outline and through its first chapter Houdini had asked Lovecraft in 1926 to ghostwrite the treatise exploring superstition but the magician's death later that year halted the project as his wife did not wish to pursue it Oh Joe that's so fascinating oh that's I don't mean to say I mean it's not a pun that's what's killer that really upsets me it's so upsetting and Joe is also saying I love the big think channel where you got this article yeah Bill Nye the Science Guy answers a question every week about science I'm always super fascinated that's awesome yeah I'm so glad you found that because I was wondering like what could it be so now we know we know we know what it is thank you Joe fascinating and back to back to Emily Dickinson one of her most famous poems that they refer to at the end is because I could not stop for death and that's a very very good one but then what I wrote about was totally different and like I said you can really interpret it a lot of ways anyway I recommend you read her but take your time reading her she's not one of those ones you want to fly through the book or the poem you really want to take your time and enjoy it ok the next one who didn't make enough money was Proust shocker some of these I just can't get past this is crazy all right let's see he half-heartedly held other jobs he once took a post at a library and had such an extended sick lead that he was presumed to have resigned he lived with his parents and then on an inheritance left to him while Proust did not make money some money sorry while Krauss did make some money as a writer his work was I think they mean unfinished and not fully appreciated until after his death at age 51 what a shame so he was sickly during most of his life it sounds like he had a lot of sickness which is you know man sounds like a lot of these people died very young at the time because this is a long time ago maybe it wasn't as young as it would be today but anyway that's a shame I actually you can you can shame me if you want I haven't read Proust yet during college I was supposed to and the work was so long see I'm a slow reader and right now I'm doing a little serious on Instagram called confessions of a slow reader so one of my problems when I was majoring in English Lit was that I could not read fast enough to keep up I'm a slow reader and that means that I do get a lot out of what I read but it also takes me literally a year to read like four hundred page books unless it's an audiobook so mmm it's a shame but it does frustrate me and so I didn't get to read his work during my time as an English Lit major because it was what we were reading was too long I can't run what it was called super super famous probably most famous work I didn't get a chance to finish it because of that and that actually happened we were expected to read Jane Eyre and a week I mean that's just how it goes you know they're trying to fit everything they can into your studies and make sure you're well educated but at the same time I just can't make it through something like that that fast especially with the language I got to take my time so I had to do a lot of faking through some of these tests and then read it later which is it's a shame but I did try my best with works that I I could make it through and I'm not a good speed reader anyway world'll it was where my heart was that I wanted to take a comparative literature masters but you have to know multiple languages if you're gonna get a good quality master's degree and not apparently and I am NOT very good with learning other languages surprisingly because I work for a language company so that's kind of funny amber says oh no Jane Eyre needs to be savoured I know I know and it was the study and so I learned a lot from the classes and our discussion but I would have to like read summaries and stuff because I simply couldn't make it through that fast just as Proust doesn't surprise me actually at the time of his life France was going through a lot of upheaval right that's a great question you're probably right Joe I'm just scrolling to see 20th century it doesn't say specifically when his life was but you are most likely right the next one is Edgar Allen Poe and I feel like some people know this and some people don't I love PO he's my favorite and I recently posted something on my Twitter that was it was a gift from it was Tim Burton's Vincent and it's Vincent Price reading it I love Vincent Price and it says something like while other children were reading like run Jane run Vincent read Edgar Allan Poe tied with pea that was me I loved this stuff long before it was even really supposed to be what we were reading in my age and I do have this beautiful gilt book there we go with it's just gorgeous this is all gold and it's just stunning I love it I mean it's one of the only collector's type of books that I have that isn't just collectors to me because I love it it's like the actual collectors type of book and it's got beautiful writing the typography they chose is perfect for this era like a heavy you know typewriter type of thing which is just perfect so I absolutely love that girl in poem I always have just anything he writes I've only read one thing that annoyed me and that was just because it was like this big fake-out and if I remember what it is I'll tell you it was but amber says I love Tim Burton I've seen that when it was great yeah and and Vincent reading it Vincent Price oh man it was amazing Jo and just saying awesome Wow and Anita sang love Poe yeah you just got I feel like most people can appreciate him in one way or another so they're saying that this is fascinating the Raven was extremely popular upon publication and earned Poe precisely $9 pouch I mean even though back when he was alive in the 19th century $9 was more than it is now that's that's a big ouch he was the first notable American author to attempt to make a living on writing alone that's something I did not know he was often unable to do so and held other jobs during his lifetime he was and then we go on to his sad death but yeah I mean isn't that just a shame God there's nothing to add insult to his death a popular biography falsely depicting poet as a degenerate made a great deal of money and has poisoned their image of him since Oh shameful oh I don't like that well I never read that and I won't read it so there Joe is saying telltale heart started my exploring darkness and it made me feel like I found what I was born to do that is so nice Joe wow that's amazing yeah I can say that I listened to a version that they played in class of I think it was the pendulum actually not telltale tell-tale heart and that like oh I was just riveted you know and then telltale heart was I think one of the first ones to teach me really good suspense where I first understood suspense when I was younger amber says actor John Astin was a huge Pope and an expert I saw him recreate Poe's works in a one-man show it was amazing oh my god that sounds incredible Wow Oh can you imagine one-man show that'd be incredible that's totally cool all right and this one is this the last one yeah this is the final one and it is Nietzsche Nietzsche he cofounder of existentialism wasn't able to make money off of his writing he abandoned his a career in academia where he was made a professor right out of college to try to make a living as an independent writer and philosopher he was unable to make much money from selling his books and often begged from friends Oh whooshing this didn't deter him and at the height of his writing he was cranking out a book a year of high quality at the time of his death he had achieved some fame if not wealth from his writings that's interesting and one of the things I always wonder about philosophers did he have the mustache yes he did have the mustache it's like a brushy mustache it's like a big brushy mustache one thing I find very interesting about philosophers is looking at their philosophy and see if they followed it in their life so I don't know quite enough about him to know that for sure but it is something like with ein Rand it's very interesting to sort of compare her life to her writings and you can find some examples where she did actually go by her philosophy she heard a lot of people she loved and she ended up being heard a lot too it's it's fascinating you know it's just fascinating clothing hair everything wow that's amazing I will say that for with Nietzsche I wanted to tell you guys that there is a movie out there called baby faces you know I love black on my movies old movies this is the Forbidden Hollywood collection this is all pre-code films get rid of that glare for you Oh pre-code films which means the movie code was not in yet and they could be as scandalous as they wanted to be pretty much but actually baby face which has Barbara Stanwyck it's in 33 1933 movie was so scandalous that it actually gave the movie code teeth like ouch that's pretty bad it was super scandalous and it has it is actually the basis one of the pieces of the basis is this one man giving Barbara Stanwyck advice that she should use men to move upward in her life and I don't mean that in any kind of a good way I mean it in the worst way possible her basically the basic storyline just let you know yeah I really recommend this movie if you can find it I can only find it in this collection but your library might have it basically she's supposed to be a young woman whose father owns a bar and he actually prostitutes her out and which is a lot for him back then that alone is enough but it showed a lot of stuff that you really couldn't show then it said a lot of stuff you couldn't say then and basically her father dies and she is asking this this man she knows who's trying to help her out of the gutter essentially she asks him for advice she's like I don't know what to do I'm gonna be like a chorus girl you know yeah okay I have to strip down but it's money you know what am I gonna do I'm a woman and he said you're going to use your womanly charms and he he reads a quote from Nietzsche and it was basically about using men to make it to the top and in her way she decided her father used to prostitute her she's gonna prostitute herself now but in order to make it up higher in her life and become wealthy like use these men to become wealthy and here's just a little picture from it it was a fascinating movie it's excellent really truly excellent and actually with that Nietzsche quote they had to change the Nietzsche quote to release the movie because it was too scandalous just the Nietzsche quote a little scandalous they changed it it changed the meaning of the movie man but it's a really good one I highly recommend it so that's my only I would say my only experience with Nietzsche I don't really have much else but it's fascinating that he didn't really make any money let's see what's going on in the chat here we're talking about Gomez switch this is based on the poll that we were talking about before when amber said that she has seen Poe performed by I'm John Astin and everybody saying that welcome has Adams s is the one and only Gomez for me and Joe saying he likes rahl Julia yeah I'm one of those people who once I see the original if I like an original and I just can't see anybody else playing it this is one of my problems with Broadway where they decide to turn like everything into a Broadway play or musical I can't deal with it if I've seen the Little Mermaid I cannot go and see like a Broadway play I already know what the Little Mermaid supposed to be alright you know what the voices would sound like I know what she's posed to look like and if anything it was different it upsets me that's me all the way anyway that was very interesting I hope that you guys will find some encouragement from this this is meant to show you that even the most famous of authors had to have side jobs sometimes and there's those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to do writing as their full-time job and there are a lot of us who just are not able to wing it and we have jobs that we may even love and their full-time jobs that support our writing and there's nothing wrong with that there were a ton of people you know who are super famous who had to go through that as well and you know sometimes they enjoyed their job their job soon as I understand it the insurance clerk job was actually something that I think was it Lovecraft really enjoyed so it's not so bad I just want to encourage you guys to keep writing no matter what it doesn't matter whether you're doing this you know on the side or whether you're doing this as your full-time job just enjoy it you know and and love it and do what you want to do one of the things I've been doing now is trying a little bit harder to fit in writing when I can't so I when I can't usually so what I'll do is bring like a my Chromebook to work or something and then I'll take a lunch break and write or something like that you can just you know have to bring a computer you can bring on a notebook but sometimes I'll do that and it really it makes me feel like I'm achieving my goals and writing it makes me feel much more happy and satisfied accomplishing everything I want to you know so that's something that I definitely encourage you guys to do and if you're finding that it's really hard for you to fit in writing and it's really hard for you to publish maybe consider if you're interested in posting some things on Instagram Tides me over I'll come up with haikus and post in there and it sort of relieves my need to write and put stuff out there you can do walk ahead you can do anything that helps you you know it makes you feel like you're achieving your goals and just makes you happy so anyway I hope that you guys enjoyed this video I really loved hearing from you and some of those facts were absolutely fascinating especially the Houdini one Wow so next week we're actually going to I know we're going to talk about one thing I don't know if there's gonna be more but we are definitely going to be talking about the difference when you publish a book or a major public public company publishes a book and they decide to change the name between countries where it's published so we're gonna discuss that and maybe other things I hope to see you there next week Sunday 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time as always and thank you so much for spending time with me


  1. I think it's comforting to know that such famous, world-renowned writers have gone through the same things we all are – working to support our writing. This was such a wonderfully positive video, it shows us that we all can make it as writers (or whatever types of indie artists we are) if we just stick with it and keep moving forward with our craft. Thanks for this, Christie!

  2. Just because no one wants to buy your work doesn't mean it isn't amazing! …. Enjoy those lackluster minimum wage jobs while you night write! D: Emotional roller coaster.

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