Break the Cycle
Get up. Go to work. Come home. Eat. Watch television. Go to bed. It is an awful cycle to feel stuck in, but there is hope. There is always hope.
The only way to break this cycle is to do something different. Instead of watching tv when you get home, write. Wake up an hour earlier in the morning and write. Spend your lunch break writing. Sitting in the car, waiting to pick up the kids? Write.
It doesn't matter what you write. It can be 500+ word articles. It can be 250+ words for a blog post. It can be the fiction or nonfiction book you've been dreaming of writing. It doesn't matter. If you want to break free of working for someone else, you have to become a fanatic and write, write, write.
For many, the ultimate goal as a writer is to be able to tell the workplace to bite your big toe. You're not working for anyone else except yourself and your audience. That's it.
You need a plan.
First, figure out the minimum amount of money you need to survive. The absolute minimum.
Next, begin publishing your writing. Start a blog and monetize it. Write and publish books on Kindle. Start and build up a Twitter account. Post links to your work. Write, write, and build. Focus on 1 to 2 sources of income. For example, start publishing Kindle books and start up a blog with daily posts.
Keep doing this until you reach your ultimate minimum amount you need each month. You will need to work like hell to get there, but it can be done.
When you reach the minimal amount each month, don't quit your job just yet. You need to set a second goal.
How much do you need to make each month to live comfortably? Write this down and make it your new earning goal.
Now is the time to really diversify your income. You should be pulling an extra income from at least one source by now. Two sources is better.
You will keep your focus on your 1 or 2 sources of income and work on gaining a 3rd or 4th income source. You can build up your own YouTube channel, get a contracted writing job from About.com or find one on ProBlogger, or create courses on Udemy.
When you diversify your income, you protect yourself and your earnings by not relying on just one source of income. Also, start up a new revenue stream no sooner than every three months. This gives you time to work on each income stream and build up a following and a residual income. As you take on a new project, continue to maintain your other projects.
Like I said, it is a lot of work for the first year or even 5 years, but your goal is to be self sufficient and be able to quit your job.
When to Quit
I had quit my job years ago, as soon as I realized that I was making more from writing than I was from working at the hospital. I haven't looked back since.
When it is time to quit, when you are earning more from your writing and online work than from your day job, then it is time to quit.