Although the NEA reports that "full-time writers and authors" earn a median annual salary over $50,000, it's a bit hard to believe, unless they are talking about corporate and technical "writers." Check out the comments to this NY Times blog entry, a couple of published authors have something to say.
The NEA report is here.
"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield