To make things a little more interesting for me, I went through the comments a bit and found this:
"I asked a classmate what she was doing after graduation...she said to me "Oh, I am gonna write a novel." ??? WHAT ELSE?? I mean, I am an English major but I am not so disillusioned that I don't realize that there is a certain small, saturated market for traditional English major work. Some of us get into teaching, freelancing and or business, the rest of us return to the coffee shop we were working at during college, and VERY FEW of us become famous. Reality check! Only hard work reaps benefit!" (username: tulip2111)
There are actual people in the world who believe writing is a path to guaranteed success. I will tell you now, from having looked at all sorts of lives of authors and reading all about the business of writing, making money from it - a lot of money - isn't a guarantee, it isn't commonplace and it isn't something we should believe we can do from the offset. This isn't a suggestion not to try write, but sacrificing the rest of your life to write a book that you think will become a best-seller is disillusioned and frankly quite stupid. (Note: the person is not stupid, unless they ignore my advice to come).
Every writer I know, unless something is stopping them, works. Now, that something can be children or illness or simply a lack of jobs available to them that suit other things they might have going on (children, college, extra-curricular activities that make them a better, well-rounded person). No writer worth his or her weight gives up their job before they've even started writing. At least, not one I've heard of doing it.
My advice, if you want to write and think giving up your full time job is the way to do it: get a part-time job instead and use the extra time. But that's long-term. If you have bills to pay, go to bed later. Or wake up earlier. Or stop watching so much television. And use the extra time to write. You might find that you can get a good bit done a day - and that's all that matters - and when it comes to the stage where you're in a rhythm of writing or, for example, you're able to earn a slight income from selling articles and short stories, then the part-time job will suit you better.
In my case, I work part-time (mostly weekends, but more hours at Christmas) and I attend a full-time college course with enough assignments to keep me busy through the days. I get three and a half months off during the summer.
So, for people like me and like the student mentioned in the quoted comment, ideally I have time to write. People in my situation, attending college through the year, have the blessing of time off to write a novel. Really, a first draft, if done without wanting to be too meticulous (that's what rewriting and editing is for!), only takes a few months to write, and that's a stretch for some people. I wrote Meet Sam in a month - 50,000 words - while working weekends and going to secondary school, and going to the cinema with my friends at the weekend, attending three birthday parties and having a couple of sick days off. Last summer I wrote a 20,000 word novella in 72 hours, during which time I also slept and ate and watched some television, and I possibly went to the cinema. And I had a six hour shift in work.
What I'm saying is that people have time to write and they shouldn't wait until they're done in full-time education to give it a shot, nor should they quit their jobs in the hopes of making a living from writing very early on. It does happen to people that they make money from writing and don't have to work an office job anymore, but it doesn't happen straight away and it doesn't happen to everybody.
Meanwhile, bbphnix writes: