The author of “A Time To Kill” got his first paid work in his “early teens” watering rosebushes for a dollar an hour but was quickly promoted to fence-layer for fifty cents more. “There was no future in this, and I shall never mention it again in writing,” says Grisham. At sixteen, he became a plumber’s assistant. At seventeen, he worked on a highway asphalt crew; later, either in high school or in college, he worked in the men’s underwear department of Sears.
Read the whole op-ed, if you like, but we’ll spoil the kicker for you: “I had never worked so hard in my life, nor imagined that writing could be such an effort. It was more difficult than laying asphalt, and at times more frustrating than selling underwear. But it paid off…Writing’s still the most difficult job I’ve ever had — but it’s worth it.