I feel very lucky being a writer in today's world. My novel is published, I've got over 20 stories published, some poetry out, and I'm branching out as a writer at the start of a revolution (may you live in interesting times). It's exciting and scary, and a lot of work. I define myself as being a writer.
Another person I know is roughly my age, and in a career roadblock. He hasn't got far with his side business, and is feeling discouraged. How does one manage to keep pushing forward with no return? When does one decide "enough!"
Here's a post from writer Holly Lisle, who has spent years and thousands of hours helping others to learn to write. She's decided that her own writing is what gives her joy, and that she should focus on that to the exclusion of continued draining her creative juices to other paths. So she's going to cut back the 70-hour weeks and try to live a saner life. Applause here-- I don't know how she did so much for so long. Read some of what she's done, and you'll shame yourself for being a slacker.
Most days, I don't feel like I'm doing enough to further my writing. But I keep chipping away at it.
And here's some further commentary about Barry Eisler's choice to make new publishing choices.