Continuing the thoughts about making a living at writing...
4. The most overlooked area of writing is still the ‘zine market. Especially special market magazines -- and there is basically a magazine or e-zine about anything you'd ever want to study. I still do some writing for The Linking Ring (the magazine for the International Brotherhood of Magicians), and have done work for numerous other magazines, e-zines, and newsletters. But don't start sending things indiscriminately. Check out a copy of the magazine at Barnes and Noble, then go to the mag's website and you'll find directions on how to submit, how many words, required focus, etc.
There are two keys to success in writing for 'zines: (a) Know the magazine so that you understand the readership, focus, and editorial tone; and (b) Know the editor to approach, and how to approach him or her. If you're not familiar with the 'zine, spend some time getting to know the tone and approach they use, so you can shape your writing to best fit their expectations. Remember that magazine editors are like everybody else -- if they like your work and find you easy to deal with, they'll soon be using you on a regular basis.
5. You might be able to go to your local newspaper and try to get a column. Or go in and suggest a focus for a column, like "gardening" or "farm life" or "parenting" or "travel." Make it unique, think it through, and give the editor a reason to say yes to the idea. Many book writers I've worked with over the years have found a regular column in a newspaper is helpful because it helps get them writing regularly, and helps them build a readership.
6. Keep in mind that every piece of ephemeral or periodical literature is a monster that must be fed. All of us who started in magazines or newspapers know the pressure that comes from someone saying, "We're going to press this afternoon." It isn't like writing books, where you have months to work on it, then can still turn something in a few days late without major consequences. On magazines and newspapers, you write your piece, you get it done, and you turn it in. If you can't work on a deadline, don't try this.
7. And that leads me to one last comment: THIS IS HARD WORK. I find most writers are in love with the idea of writing a book and seeing their name in print on the cover, but some are not all that interested in working hard. (Sorry -- not trying to offend the hard-working writers out there. I'm sure you're both very nice people.) Writing for a magazine doesn't allow you the luxury of staring out the window for an hour while you think of the perfect lead. There's no extension while you polish grammar, and no waiting on production so you can get the conclusion just right. It's words by the clock, and you train yourself to bang out words in order to meet the deadline. It's also great training -- I suppose I still most appreciate the writers I know who have a jounalism background, since they know what it's like to sit at a desk, one eye on their computer screen, the other on a clock, banging out the best words they can in order to fill the page.
So there are a handful of ideas to help you generate some income at writing. What is it that has worked for you?