If I had to list the misconceptions to which people intent on becoming writers are prone, I think I'd start my list like this:
1. I am an author! This is a statement of my identity and my lifestyle. Respect my authorial mojo! (What do you mean it's a job, you horrible little killjoy?)
2. I could tell you what I'm going to write next, but you'd steal my ideas. (Planet Earth calling: ideas make up 1% of the job, execution is the other 99%.)
3. The world owes me a living. (Do I need to explain this one?)
I write for a living. Right now, I'm halfway through the first draft of a novel I'm aiming to finish by December. Ideally it'd be done by the beginning of December, and if I could extract my target quota from the word mines each day it would be, but in reality, Other Shit intervenes:
1. The copy edits for next year's SF novel, "Neptune's Brood", are due to arrive in my email inbox on November 12th. They are due back in production by November 26th. In the intervening two weeks I have to carefully examine the copy editor's marked-up manuscript, approve or veto their changes, make any necessary changes of my own, and double-check everything. Normally, not a problem.
2. The page proofs for the second of next year's reissues, the omnibus volume "The Traders' War" (Merchant Princes #3 and #4) arrived on October 31st. They run to 650-odd pages. They're due back in production by November 20th. (Different publisher, naturally.) The page proofs need examining minutely for typos, and correcting.
3. The page proofs for the third of next year's reissues, the omnibus volume "The Revolution Trade" (Merchant Princes #5 and #5) are due to arrive on December 3rd. Due back December 17th. The page proofs need examining minutely for typos, and correcting.
4. I have a broken bone in one foot and live at the top of several flights of stairs (with no elevator). I'm wearing an orthopedic boot and can't drive (my car is a stick shift: can't work the clutch.)
5. 220 miles away, an elderly relative is recovering from surgery and needs weekly visits ... by train. Hint: I can't work effectively on a train or at the far end.
6. I have the usual accounting and record keeping issues that go with running a small business to keep up with in this period.
Now, all is not as bad as this picture might paint it. Rather than collapsing under the weight of seven book-length sets of copy edits/page proofs in ten weeks, I've hired a local editor I've worked with in the past to do a lot of the legwork on the page proofs. This still doesn't absolve me from working on them, but it reduces the time input. I can't out-source the copy edits on the new novel, because this is the first publication and I'm the only person who can confirm whether or not a given sentence is merely phrased badly or conceals an obscure pun; but that's a relatively light job compared to checking the page proofs. Due to long-standing eye trouble (peripheral retinopathy) my personal bottleneck is simply that my reading speed is quite slow. The Merchant Princes omnibus set makes for hard work simply because it's so big—1850-odd pages when it's in print.
If anything, the worst bits of this it's-a-lifestyle-idiot job are points #4 and #5, and frankly you don't have to be a writer to have those problems.
But anyway: the glam life of this particular Author currently revolves around: worrying about how to do the food shopping on crutches (hint: home delivery services and/or a back-pack—chest strap mandatory), project management of supply contracts for large corporate clients who don't know or care about each other's deliverables and deadlines, checking other peoples' work (copy editors and typesetters), visiting sick relatives (and trying to help out the other relatives who are looking after them from day to day), and somehow squeezing out half a novel in the meantime. And note that these are the problems of a successful writer. The problems of unsuccessful writers include figuring out how to get those large corporate clients in the first place and financing the next can of baked beans.
You want an artistic lifestyle statement? Take mine, please!
PS: I'm halfway through the new novel (Laundry Files #5, "The Rhesus Chart"). If I can just use NaNoWriMo as a pace car, it'll be finished by November 31st (even if I have to insert an extra day in the month to make it fit). I'll rest, as they say, when I'm dead.