Mark Twain (l835～1910)
Write without pay until someone offers it. If no one does so within three years, sawing wood is what you were intended.
Mark Twain was the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who grew up in Hannibal, Missouri. His father was a storekeeper and died in 1847. His early occupations included apprenticeship to a printer, writing for his brother's newspaper and, just as importantly in retrospect, piloting ships on the Mississippi (where, incidentally, he was actively discouraged from reading). It was this latter job that provided material for his most famous books, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and gave him his working name. Mark twain is a naval term meaning two fathoms deep.
In fact, Twain published his early works under the name Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass but he settled on the now familiar pseudonym as a correspondent for a variety of Nevada and California magazines. He achieved fame as a humorist with The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867) and Innocents Abroad (1869), and began a first English lecture tour in 1872. His writing covered numerous topics but frequently utilised autobiography (Roughing It (1872), Life on the Mississippi (1883)) and fantasy (The Prince and the Pauper (1882), A Connecticut Yankee in the Court of King Arthur (1889)).
Twain's most famous books remain Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, both of which concern life on and around the Mississippi and contain much of the social and political satire familiar from his other writings. However, their success could not prevent Twain from experiencing financial troubles in the last twenty years of his life. He left for worldwide lecture tours and wrote many less purposeful books, although The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg (1900) is pleasingly inventive. Twain died in 1910 having made it to a ripe old age for a man who reportedly smoked forty cigars per day.