11 Authors Who Kept Their Day Jobs

09/02/2013 09:13 am ET | Updated Sep 02, 2013
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Happy Labor Day! You're probably in your PJs, with "Orange is the New Black" open in another tab. We respect that - you deserve it! Sadly, not everyone is as capable of relishing off-time.

As if the path to authorial fame weren't rocky enough, these 11 authors kept their day jobs even after their work was recognized. Some needed the financial support, but others were simply passionate about their chosen fields, be it medicine, education, or their own publishing pursuits. Kudos to them! Now if you'll excuse us, we have some napping to do.

Virginia Woolf

She may have been able to afford a room of her own, but she didn't live leisurely. Along with her husband, Leonard Woolf, Virginia founded publishing house Hogarth Press. The pair published Russian translations, psychoanalytic works, and "The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot.

T.S. Eliot

From 1917-1925, Eliot works at Lloyd's Bank; It was during this time that he completed and published "The Waste Land." He then joined the publishing company we now know as Faber and Faber, and was responsible for publishing such household names as Ted Hughes and W.H. Auden.

Frank McCourt

The author of the Pulitzer-winning memoir, "Angela's Ashes," taught in New York City high schools and colleges during his entire career.

Franz Kafka

Kafka lamented his demanding "Brotberuf" (day job, literally "bread job") at an insurance company.

William Carlos Williams

The poet behind "Spring and All" and "Paterson" worked as a doctor in Rutherford, New Jersey during his entire writing career.

Jorge Luis Borges

The brilliant Argentinian writer behind "Ficciones" worked as an assistant in the Buenos Aires Municipal Library, and eventually because the director of the National Library. Libraries greatly influenced his labyrinthine work. At a late age, Borges lost his eyesight, and has been jokingly referred to as "the blind librarian."

Wallace Stevens

Acclaimed poet Wallace Stevens was offered a professorship at Harvard after receiving the Pulitzer Prize, but turned it down. The reason? He'd have to leave his job at Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, where he worked for nearly 40 years.

Tomas Transtromer

Transtromer won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his poetry last year, so you'd think he spent most of his days writing and rewriting. On the contrary: he's worked as a psychologist at correctional facilities, and now is employed by the Swedish government as an occupational psychologist.

Philip Larkin

The author behind "A Girl in Winter" and "The North Ship" created these works while employed as a librarian at Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull.

Bram Stoker

The mastermind behind "Dracula" kept his prestigious day job as the personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London for most of his life. However, he may not have had much of a choice - "Dracula" was an epistolary novel, after all.

Lewis Carroll

The author of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and other "literary nonsense," was also a mathematician, photographer and teacher.

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