For anyone who has aspired to monetize their love for the written word, learning that they are not historically alone in the characteristic woes of the “penniless” writer helps quiet the inevitable hints of hopelessness. We at Bookstr hope this list of renowned literary successes who lived at home after college proves valuable ammo in staving off those anxious thoughts.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
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After meeting future wife, Zelda, during his time in the military, F. Scott Fitzgerald abandoned his attempt in advertising to return to his home in Saint Paul, Minnesota. There, he wrote what would be called This Side of Paradise. The author who’d become famous for describing the Jazz-aged dances and Parisian cafés of the “lost generation” would live with his parents for six-months while writing. One can’t help but wonder if he paid for room and board.
The Brontë Sisters
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After spending time studying in Brussels, both Charlotte and Emily returned to the Haworth, England estate where their family lived, at respective times, joining their sister Anne. All three authors were home at the time that their collective volume of poetry was published in May of 1846. Against the backdrop of a sexist milieu and amidst the quiet of their hometown, each sister earned herself a spot in our literary lore.
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Following his decision to dropout of college, an encounter with the law, a failed bout in the U.S. Navy, and an annulled marriage, Kerouac moved in with his parents in Queens. There, he wrote his first novel to be published, The Town and the City. Certainly no example to follow, a controversial figure with controversial history, this fast-talking pioneer of the ‘50s beat generation was not an overnight success.
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History’s best-selling author returned to England in 1910, departing for Cairo with her ailing mother. She stayed there for a total of three months, proving that there’s no shame in spending time abroad while figuring out this crazy thing we call adulthood. She would not publish her first novel until 1920, after a series of rejections.
As we must admit, any good writer is well read, having developed appreciation for works of the past, forming a list of favorites. And, since much of creativity is often imitation of real life, we hope you won’t feel so bad imitating your favorite authors while tackling the days of post-graduate malaise.
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