John, the tragic to me, seems to be:
1-If you make writing only one amongst a lot of pastimes, you in general won't get to the goal of making your writing professional.
2-If you really dedicate almost all of your time to writing, that's still no guarantee that you'll succeed in getting published. This ofcourse, makes the chance for disappointment resulting in bitterness, pretty high.
In my case (people are selfish aren't they
) the problem seems to be that I don't really know how far I've evolved. Is option 2 worth a try for say a year, or would I need more than a single year?
Now comes the real question: do you have some sort of statistics on the ages of writers and how long they've been wandering along the writing path before getting their first publication?