I've been doing what I do for three years now. To be honest, I thought I'd get one half-assed book done, burn out and just find another job nine months in. My expectations were low.
I think what's allowed me to persist this long was a couple of things. First, the craft itself. Writing expands the mind and makes you think more deeply about everything. Good creatives are adaptable. Second, I had a marriage of ten years under my belt.
You'll live or die as a creative because of who you know. Having someone there to root for you when you can't pick yourself up is pretty important. I'd have given this up two years ago if it wasn't for my wife. Creatives need relationships and allies.
Choose your spouse and your friends carefully. Ditch anyone or anything that drags you down.
In that three years I've watched the self-publishing scene go from a little bit of nothing to guys making six-figure paydays. There wasn't much to believe in back in 2009, there was just hope. 2012 is a completely different story. The self-published author gig is a legitimate way to make a living.
I hoped it would be.