You know that advice you sometimes see given to aspiring writers that goes like this: “If you can quit writing, quit. If you can’t, you’re a writer.” I find that weird (unless you interpret it as “work your ass off,” in which case, it’s solid; I’m here interpreting it more like “Well, a real writer is called and can never quit”).
Most humans are, alas, constrained by time (except for me, being unstuck in it like Billy Pilgrim), so folks have to balance competing interests/loves/demands. I’ve known quite a few professionally published authors who’ve quit over the years (or at least appear to have quit, since I don’t see anything new from them). So, they could quit, and yet they’re still writers (obviously). Presumably other things came up, things more important to them than a writing career, and so they made the choice to hang up the prose. It’s not all that surprising. Absent a blockbuster, writing can be a tough road. Life in the midlist ain’t for everyone.
And no, I’m not quitting. Things are going great! I just dislike that advice, and other similar advice that directly or by implication tries to elevate writing to some kind of mystical calling. It’s not. It’s awesome (for reasons I’ve explained often) but it’s not a sacred summons carried on the voices of an angelic chorus.
Works the other way, too, in that you’ll sometimes see a commenter online somewhere who’s convinced that no one should write for filthy luchre and that the only art worth making is the kind for which the artist suffers. This is plain dumb. And it’s also an attempt to make writing mystical. Ignore all that. Write what you love and get paid for it. Get paid a lot if you can! Suffering is for suckers.