Monday, March 11, 2013

Four Writers Who Penned Their Way to Wealth

The poverty and adversity writers have had grapple with often lend power and pathos to their works of fiction. Penning their poems and stories, their words seem to be galvanized from youthful struggles. When destitute, folks must rely on handouts from others, buy-here-pay-here lots for bad credit woes and personal ambition to fuel them through the day— no one is more familiar with these conditions than than the following four writers.

Edgar Allan Poe

Classic master of horror and “Father of the Detective Story,” Edgar Allan Poe was born in 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. Like the works he created, his own life was steeped in darkness and mystery. Poe's father left when he was a toddler and his mother passed away when he was three. He moved in with a foster family, the Allans, and attended the University of Virginia in 1826, according to Not able to afford tuition, he tried his hand at gambling. It backfired and Poe was left with serious debt. His frustrations compounded upon returning home to find his fiancĂ©e engaged to another man. Poe attended a military academy briefly before being kicked out. He then focused on writing full time. He established a reputation as a brutal critic while reviewing his contemporaries, working for a Richmond magazine. Poe's writing efforts came to fruition when “The Raven” became a literary sensation in 1845. Though never achieving massive wealth in his lifetime, Poe's societal contributions have had an astounding dollar amount. The first edition of “Tamerlane and Other Poems” sold for $662,500, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Stephen King

The King of Horror was born in Portland, Maine to a family with paltry income. King's father abandoned the family when he was two which left his mother to provide for him and his adopted brother, according to He relied on family handouts for clothes and groceries. King worked odd jobs as a janitor and laundromat employee before settling on a teaching position at a public school, according to He published his first novel, “Carrie” in 1973. Stephen King's massive body of work includes more than 60 books earning him hundreds of millions of dollars.

George Orwell

In 1903, George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in Bengal, India and would go on to write famous literary classics. As a child, Orwell suffered from bouts of influenza and bronchitis. He discovered his knack for writing at an early age, according to Despite wanting to attend college, he and his family couldn't afford it. This lead him to join the India Imperial Police Force in 1922 for five years. Orwell then struggled in poverty and stints of homelessness while living in Paris and London, according to He transferred these struggles into his first major work, “Down and Out in Paris and London,” according to Biography. He published it under it under the pseudonym that we know today so as not to embarrass his family. George Orwell's best known novels “Animal Farm”(1945) and “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (1949) awarded him with acclaim and wealth. Unfortunately, Orwell didn't have much time to enjoy his success; he died of Tuberculosis in 1950, as Biography states.

Sandra Cisneros

Latina poet and writer Sandra Cisneros grew up in an impoverished neighborhood of Chicago, IL. Her working class parents struggled to provide for Cisneros and her six brothers, according to Shuffling back and forth between Mexico City and Chicago because of her father's job, she often felt displaced. Her strife early in life inspired much of her writing including her seminal work, “The House on Mango Street,” which sold more than two million copies, according to Sandra Cisneros is a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (aka genius grant) and the Texas Medal of Arts.
For fifteen minutes, write about how writing has helped you out of a negative situation, whether it be financially or emotionally. Elaborate upon the progression from negative to positive and keep paint the picture of your emotions throughout the process.