There are so many people out there who make their living exclusively by writing fiction. Man, would I love to be one of those people!
The trick with this is surmounting the fact that fiction pays peanuts in comparison to nonfiction (unless you're Stephen King, which I'm not). How is that possible? Two factors: Marketing and volume.
Marketing is a given no matter what you write. In this era, some of the lousiest works make it to the bestseller lists due to marketing, despite being nigh unreadable. Quality is not the biggest factor in determining success, though I do believe that it is essential if one wants to snag more discerning readers and appeal to a wider audience. Books don't sell themselves. They need marketing, and I'm talking unabashed, hardcore, persistent marketing. J. A. Konrath and Christopher Paolini, among others, are testaments to this. Too many writers write a book, publish it, and then sit back to let the dough roll in. That's not the way it works. Writing is the easy part.
Which brings us to volume. As I said before, fiction pays next to nothing in comparison to nonfiction. Which means if one is to make a living writing fiction, they need to churn out A LOT of it. Louis L'Amour, R. L. Stine, Issac Asimov, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and others are examples of guys who kept their fiction mills working constantly. And it paid off. They got to do what they loved AND make a decent living doing it.
So here I am, one of many, many dreamers who would give anything to be a full-time writer, working on increasing daily word count and jotting down story ideas despite jobs, kids, and daily demands, and studying marketing strategies in hopes of one day nailing the art.
Someday, I'll be writing a blog post or article about how I overcame all odds and became a career storyteller.
At least, so I hope.