In 1737 Johnson went to London and started to write for "The Gentlemanís Magazine". Johnsonís early period in London was both productive and hard, because he had great problems to make a living with his writings. This problem was not solved entirely with the work on A Dictionary of the English Language. Though the Dictionary was highly influential, Johnson had a problem to increase his income, because he had to bear the expenses for the production of the book. Johnson might have underestimated the amount of work, that the compiling of a dictionary inherited.
The production of a dictionary was a risky business right from the start. The London booksellers were well aware of this fact. But they were also aware of the rising call for an English dictionary. They signed Johnson in June, 1746. Johnson estimated that it would take three years to finish the dictionary. In the end it took him almost nine years to complete his masterpiece.