When I was teaching myself to write, in my twenties and thirties, here’s what I used to do. I’d work at a real job (usually in advertising in New York) and save my money till I had enough to last me about two years. Then I’d quit, move someplace really cheap, rent a place, and write full-time. I did this three times between 1967 and 1980.
I never sold anything. Never got anything published. Never made a penny.