About Us

Even geniuses had to start somewhere. We’ve researched the lives of many accomplished writers and artists, musicians and innovators, philosophers and politicians, to bring you the stories of how they got interested in their craft and the first attempts they made at pursuing it. Some may debate the veracity of one or another of these tales, but more than anything else, we simply hope to shed a little light on that moment when people decide to follow their passions and try to create something for the very first time. In most cases, these figures were struggling artists long before they were exceptional ones. So perhaps readers will find some inspiration in these stories to pursue their own passions.

Thanks for taking the time to check out Opening Lines! We’ll be updating regularly so don’t be shy about coming back to read more. If you have any suggestions for artists you’d like to see mentioned here or would like to get involved with this project, please feel free to e-mail sfiegerman@gmail.com or leave your thoughts in the comments section. You can also follow Opening Lines at twitter.com/openinglinesorg or follow the editor at twitter.com/sfiegerman

Praise for Opening Lines:

“Opening Lines is a wonderful project exploring how famous writers, artists, musicians, innovators, philosophers and politicians got their start, pushing past bumpy beginnings towards epic triumphs. At its core, Opening Lines is about providing that little boost of inspiration for those discouraged in the pursuit of their creative passions. It’s a reminder that the myth of the overnight success is just that — a myth.” – Brainpickings.org

“Really interesting stuff if you find someone you’re already familiar with and want to learn more about them. Of course, in looking for that person or people, you’re likely to discover 20 more who will become new favorites as well. And that’s why I fell for this site. Brilliant use of the blog format for a specific thoughtful theme.” – DailyKos.com

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 10.17.09 PMOpening Lines discusses the origins and first tries of now-famous writers and other figures… Some of my favorites include that Flannery O’Connor couldn’t spell, Steve Jobs started out making illegal phones long before the iPhone, and Jennifer Egan thinks she got famous too fast – to her detriment.” – TheRumpus.net


“Behind every success story is an embarrassing first effort, a stumble, a setback or a radical change of direction. It’s these first clumsy steps on the road to fame and fortune that fascinate writer Seth Fiegerman, who edits the blog OpeningLines.org, a collection of case studies on the origins of famous careers.” – Smithsonian Magazine