Here's an excellent post on the real costs of piracy by Shiloh Walker. Very good, sobering reading. Lilith Saintcrow also talks about money here. And tells people not to steal her books. And responds to some idjits who attack her for asking people not to steal her books.
Me, I've long decided that I can work and write. I'm not sure I'd write more if I wasn't working - possible, but hard to prove - but I sure want to get paid for all the hard work. And if I did make enough money to retire, I might. But I've made the decision to be a dilettante, and quite possibly forever, to only write what I am desperate, hungry, craving to write. And get books out immediately (or after 6-8 months maximum) rather than spend years and years going the traditional publishing way (which I've done and found too hard and too slow for a no-name like me, plus, in the niche, there's no real point to it, at least not at the moment).
Talking about getting paid - I'm in my second week and still enjoying it. I figure I've found an excellent place to stay. Also, because I can edit my own stuff in the lull between assignments (I forgot how it feels to not multitask and rush all the time). The last three days, that amounted to around 60 pages getting edited. At that rate, I'll finish the edits of FOAT much sooner than expected. There's still some heavy lifting to be done, but I'm reasonably sure I can do that lifting by Monday.
So far, the main thing that bugs me about being a working writer is that I have to go to bed in a way that preserves my strength and mental togetherness (to bed at midnight, latest) for the day job rather than when I run out of ideas (which is two or three hours later). It's a small price to pay, but definitely cuts the writing short even when I hit the flow.