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The painful life of a writer?

"No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money," insisted 18th-century literary grandee Samuel Johnson.
"Easy reading is damn hard writing," added Nathaniel Hawthorne. But then, they hadn't met any of today's bestselling scribes.

"I’ve got the easiest life in the world," John Grisham said in an interview this week. His name keeps popping up on political ballots but he's never going to run for office, he says. His work penning legal thrillers ( 22 books and 235 million copies now in print) is just too much fun.

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"It's hard to find things to complain about [being a bestselling author.] It has been a giving tree," says Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love." She says her book has now sold 7 million copies worldwide.

But even with royalties rolling in and a film (starring Julie Roberts) possibly in the offing in she tells seattlepi.com this weekend, "I'm always going to write. I would not know what to do with myself otherwise."