There was a post recently on one of the more professional writing blogs (or maybe it was an article at one of the writing mags... either way) about questions you should ask yourself before you quit your day job and take up writing full-time. While I didn't read the article, I'm sure it provided good advice and hope it was a sobering reminder that it takes a lot to make it full time, especially as a writer.
However, it occurred to me that sometimes quitting the day job isn't a choice. I didn't choose to give up my last job, for example, the economy made that decision for me. I'm in a position where if I could generate a little more work, I might be able to go full time as a freelancer, but frankly I like having benefits and my taxes taken out of my paychecks for me rather than having to do it all myself. (Mind you, if I made enough where I could hire an accountant or something, I'm sure that would be less of a complaint.)
In my case, though, no longer having a day job wasn't voluntary, and so there was little else left but the writing. I'm fortunate in that I have at least some contacts who throw work my way so I'm not totally without recourse (or a paycheck), but it's not as though I was given the opportunity to weigh my options and consider what I wanted to do. Nor do I suspect I'm the only one.
I wish I had some sage advice to offer when such a situation happens, and then perhaps I could turn around and sell that article under "Questions to Ask When You Lose Your Day Job" - but like I said, if I had the answers I'd be in a better position than I am.