Unless you happen to have a flexible safety net, being a writer full time isn't always possible. When I was laid off from my last full time gig (after being there for 10 years), I was lucky enough to have a little cushion to land on. It didn't take long to figure out that the landing would continue to get rougher as time went by, if I wasn't able to supplement it a little bit.
I wanted to focus on the writing, but still have a trickle of income-- as well as keeping some kind of work record on my resume, should I have to go back to a cubicle job. Those are a few reasons I started substitute teaching. Also, I wondered if I would enjoy it enough to go back to school to get certified. That hasn't happened yet.
I'm also working with the US Census--- temporarily, intermittently.
And I'm still submitting essays and short stories whenever I can.
So I suppose I'm working at becoming a "slash"-- one of those people who keeps themselves busy in many different ways. You may think it lacks the security of a full time job, but nothing is really "secure", is it?
I'm about half-way through One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success, by Marci Alboher. She shows some great examples of people living the "slash" work/lifestyle. Seeing other people opting out of the traditional workstyle helps me to feel a little less scattered. After being strictly someone else's employee for so long, I thought I was acting irresponsibly, even though my bills were still getting paid, and I wasn't running up the credit cards. Somewhere along the line, I got the impression that the bulk of my time should be spent developing a career, not nourishing a dream.
Now I'm thinking, why not a little of both?