It really is time. After you have the talent it is time. There are many good writers out there who will never publish and that is because they will never write. The reason most artists don’t succeed is really because they do not have the time to develop their craft. Talent must be there but so also must there be time to create and in America that time comes at a high price.
So what is your day job? The standard question has the built in assumption you must support yourself to do your writing or your music or your acting. You have to do sometning to pay the bills. But that something destroys most artists. Their energy goes into the support and not the art. Art takes time to come to fruition and it takes time to make its way in the world.
Take writing for instance. You only have so much psychic energy and then it is gone. Most writers support themselves by teaching. This drains the writer of his precious mental reserve and by the time he or she sits down at the writing table there is simply nothing left. It was given away to a student who will face the same thing one day.
So really the great dividing line of those who go on to produce songs or novels or become actors is that they had years to develop their craft. Time it turns out is precious.