2. The 19th-century French writer Jean Jacques Plachet so despaired of ever finishing his novel Les Femmes Laides that he loaded a hunting rifle and shot himself in the right foot. Thus immobilized at his desk, he was able to finish his masterpiece.
3. The stories for which Scottish writer Hamish Baird is known were all written during a 6-year period, after which Baird took a job cleaning the sewers of Glasgow. He said his second career was a welcome relief from the misery of writing.