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Life Lessons From Three Struggling Writers Who Made It to the Top

How they reached success despite all the odds stacked against them


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Kristina Segarra

3 years ago | 3 min read

Do you know why writers rise to the top and become successful?

They stick to their craft no matter what. For any writer, writing isn’t a smooth journey. So many factors can adversely affect the pursuit of their dreams.

But what sets successful writers apart is their persistence.

Because so few writers can make a living out of writing, so many of them decide just to give it up. After all, scrambling to make a living out of it is hard, not to mention friends and family telling you it’s not worthwhile to pursue your dreams.

But writing is a double-edged sword. If your passion and persistence outweigh the obstacles, eventually you will climb to the top of the mountain. For you to be successful in your craft, you must put your soul into it and enjoy the ride. There is no such thing as “overnight” success.

Your writing journey is not a straight walking path — there will be bumps and curves. No one said it would be easy. The most important thing is that you push through and stay on your path.

Let’s take a look at some successful writers who persevered in their journey and went from rags to riches. We can all draw inspiration from these talented authors.

J.K. Rowling

The prolific British author achieved fame after publishing the first novel Harry Potter, which made her world-famous.

She was a poor, single mother living off of welfare benefits while raising her children. She also suffered from clinical depression.

With all the odds stacked against her, she managed to reach the pinnacle in her career. And that’s not all — her first Harry Potter novel was rejected 12 times before it was eventually published in 1996!

J.K. Rowling rose from life on welfare to selling millions of copies of her book. Now her net worth is over 750 million dollars. Publishing her first Harry Potter novel was a life-changing experience.

Stephen King

Stephen King is one of the most prolific writers of our generation. He’s written many horror, fiction, crime, and fantasy novels. He is an author of popular horror-fiction novel Carrie. But a glimpse into his life will show you his darker parts of life.

Stephen lived in a trailer and had two children. Who would’ve known the famous author who worked as a janitor and a laundry worker would one day rise to fame. All his life, he struggled financially and couldn’t pay the bills.

To make matters worse, his first novel “Carrie,” was rejected by thirty publishers! He was about to throw his manuscript away, but thanks to his wife who encouraged him to keep working on it, his novel was eventually published.

In all, he has sold more than 350 million copies of his books.

Charles Dickens

He was an English writer who wrote classic novels such as Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol. Besides writing fifteen novels, he also wrote stories, essays, articles, and novellas. He rose to the top despite his impoverished upbringing and the harsh lifestyle that he endured.

Dickens’ life was full of exploitation and misery. Growing up, he was one of eight children and had a rough childhood. At the age of 12, his father was sent to debtor’s prison, which forced Dickens to leave school and work ten-hour days in a boot-blacking warehouse.

Later, as he was deciding between a career in acting or writing, he settled on writing.

Today, Charles Dickens is one of the most popular literary artists in the world.

The bottom line

A glimpse into the lives of these struggling authors shows that writing isn’t a rosy path. No matter how hard their lives were, the passion for their craft shone through their struggles. Their hopes for achieving their literary dreams never faded.

To win the battle, you must push and persevere and never give up. Your passion and perseverance will help you beat the obstacles and overcome the struggles. Continue doing what you love and do it with passion.

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Kristina Segarra

I'm a freelance writer, musician and a mom of two kids. I love writing on health-related, self-improvement, and writing topics as well as world events.


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