A desire to do something different with your law degree! John Grisham turned his law practice at a small firm in Southhaven, Mississippi into inspiration for 24 books – 9 of which were turned into films. Grisham graduated from law school at Ole Miss is 1981 and specialized in criminal defense and personal injury litigation for nearly ten years before being inspire to write his first novel. According to Grisham’s biography on his website:
One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.
That might have put an end to Grisham’s hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing’s greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Is your hobby something that you can turn into a full-time career?