How does anyone make a living as a writer?

You know, part of me wanted to delete this before I even started writing it. But another part of me is screaming inside, wanting to get this all out in the open tonight. So I saved the draft, with the intention of re-reading it and seeing how I felt this morning about it.

Now granted, I've only officially been able to claim the "author" title for just over 6 months...but from what little I've learned about the industry, writing books is like any other competitive industry in the world. It's cutthroat. And in order to solve for x, you need skill, opportunity, and luck. And it helps tremendously if what you write doesn't suck.

Relax...I'm nowhere near the expert, and I would never claim to be. Nor am I anywhere near a point where I could become a writer/author full-time...but I will say this: If the only reason you have when you sit down in front of your keyboard and start putting your thoughts into text is to make a living by it, then get in line. There are thousands of other authors out there who are trying to do the same. Some have been struggling for years. Some are amazing artists just getting off their feet and have incredible talent as beginners. And they deserve it more than you. Because their stuff is better than yours. Maybe.

Ok, maybe not. Maybe their stuff sucks. Maybe they use more adverbs, or they don't follow all the golden literary rules...or they write shorter books than you do (and put out two or three times as many as you do)...or they have a Sling Blade vernacular compared to yours because you use the Oxford thesaurus. Whatever.

But there's new authors being born each and every day. What makes you so unique? What makes what you do different than wha