The Bibliophile's Adventurers Club

Exemplars of bookish delight

Don’t wait for inspiration


“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
Jack London
 It’s a new year. That means most of us are gearing up with goals and resolutions. With all our best-laid plans, I’d say our best bet is simply to do.

Take Jack London, for instance. Most of us know him as the author of White Fang or The Call of the Wild. But that’s only part of his story.

He left school at eleven to begin collecting an odd assortment of jobs. He was a farm boy, a newspaper boy. He loaded ice onto an ice wagon, set up pins in a bowling alley, and swept the floors of a saloon. He worked in a cannery. He became an oyster pirate. He worked at sea, in a jute mill, and in a laundry. He shoveled coal for an electric railway power plant. He worked as a roustabout; he worked 30-days hard labor in prison (vagrancy, you know).

He read in his spare time.

He went back to school. He worked as a janitor, a sailor. He joined the gold rush, became a prizewinning stockbreeder. He determined to become a great author; he wrote 1,000 words every day; he met his goal. He traveled the world, lectured, and stood up for injustice. He became one of the first to endorse products—men’s suits and grape juice. He became a self-made millionaire.

He experienced all of this in his lifetime: January 12, 1876 to November 22, 1916. That’s forty years. In forty years he accomplished more than many people who live twice as long, because he did more than talk about it—or even plan or map it out. He did it.

Just for fun, we should see what we could accomplish, if we do the same . . .


Looking to know Jack London a bit more?  Try The Wit & Wisdom of Jack London: A Collection of Quotations from His Writing and Letters


  1. One of my favourite quotes of all time comes from Jack London: I would rather be ashes than dust

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