How Elizabeth Strout Paid the Bills While She Wrote the Books

“I went back to law school because I could get more writing done during law school than I could when I had to support myself.”

Mike Gardner
Feb 19, 2019 · 9 min read
Illustration: Lorenzo Gritti

I would close my office door and read Colette. I mean, I was just a mess.

When the checks for my first published novel came in, I started to leave my first husband. He was great. We didn’t get divorced for years so I was able to keep his health insurance.

Mike Gardner

Written by

Reader. Writer. Paramedic.

Mike Gardner

Written by

Reader. Writer. Paramedic.

Day Job
Day Job
Day Job

About this Collection

Day Job

Private investigator. Subway conductor. Building superintendent. In Medium’s Day Job series, 12 accomplished authors discuss the years of the income-producing work they did to support their writing. From slicing soap in a luxury bath store to directing air strikes in Afghanistan, these authors discuss not only the jobs themselves, but also the ways they protected their time and creativity from the demands of their full-time careers (and still do!)

Private investigator. Subway conductor. Building superintendent. In Medium’s Day Job series, 12 accomplished authors discuss the years of the income-producing work they did to support their writing. From slicing soap in a luxury bath store to directing air strikes in Afghanistan, these authors discuss not only the jobs themselves, but also the ways they protected their time and creativity from the demands of their full-time careers (and still do!)

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