William Carlos Williams blogger.com / Via blogger.com William Carlos Williams worked as a physician during his entire writing career. He was a pediatrician and a general practitioner with a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. We doubt there's too many doctors that write modernist poetry. Lydia Kang Via lydiakang.com Williams is not the only author with an M.D. after his name: YA author, Lydia Kang is also a practicing physician by day and novelist by night. Talk about using the left and right sides of your brain. Anne Rice interviewmagazine.com / Via interviewmagazine.com Rice was an insurance claims examiner before she wrote her debut novel, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE. That job sounds incredibly boring, but at least she found the time to write those 350 pages. Dan Krokos Via dankrokos.com Dan pumped gas for nine years to put himself through college. He spent his days thinking about his story and taking notes on his phone. On his off days, he'd write from sun up to sun down, only stopping to eat. Now, at only 27 years old, he's had three novels published, two more are under contract, and he's the winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for best Young Adult book. We would say all that gas pumping has paid off. Harper Lee static.guim.co.uk / Via static.guim.co.uk The author of one of the great American novels worked as a reservation clerk at Eastern Airlines for eight years. A couple of her friends gave her a check and told her to quit her job and write for a year. A year later, she had written TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. John Green Before he was a bestselling YA author, he worked as a children’s hospital chaplain. Green has said that he wasn’t a very good chaplain, but it clearly inspired his popular novel, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Margaret Atwood terry.ubc.ca / Via terry.ubc.ca Like many other writers before her, Margaret Atwood worked the counter at a coffee shop. Seeing the characters coming in and out of the shop is the perfect inspiration for any writer. Lewis Carroll repro-tableaux.com / Via repro-tableaux.com When he wasn’t hanging out with Alice and the Mad Hatter, Lewis Carroll made a living as a mathematician, photographer, and teacher. Maybe that's why he looks so tired in the picture above. Jeannette Walls bgsu.edu / Via bgsu.edu Jeanette Walls used to write the "Intelligencer" column for New York Magazine. She then turned the lens on her and her family in her bestselling memoir, THE GLASS CASTLE. James Rollins Via jamesrollins.com Before becoming a bestselling author, James Rollins was a veterinarian and established his own practice. He continues to volunteer his time and vet skills in support of SPCA, and he's been known to work a dog into a few of his stories. Harley Jane Kozak lh5.googleusercontent.com / Via lh5.googleusercontent.com Not many authors can say they've been in front of the cameras, but Harley Jane Kozak has appeared in multiple plays and films. From films like Parenthood and All I Want For Christmas to soap operas such as Texas and Guiding Light, Harley was born to entertain. Kathleen Rooney poetryfoundation.org / Via poetryfoundation.org Kathleen Rooney was a staffer in Dick Durbin's office while working on her writing. She draws on that experience in her new novel, O DEMOCRACY!. Despite the similar story-lines, she swears the book is a work of fiction... James Patterson i.telegraph.co.uk / Via i.telegraph.co.uk We all know James Patterson as an author, but he started out as the head of an advertising company. No wonder he's such a book marketing genius! James Joyce poetryfoundation.org / Via poetryfoundation.org While Joyce was working on Dubliners, he had to find a way to put food on the table, so he did everything from teach classes to review books to play piano and sing (he was an accomplished tenor).