In 1971, a young writer graduated with his masters degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He spent the first 13 years of his career writing professionally and made a living from it, but without major success. In 1983, he released his fourth book, The Armageddon Rag.
Nobody read it -- the book was a total flop. In the author's own words, "It essentially destroyed my career as a novelist at the time." [1, 2]