As Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Bath University I work with students on their essays. Many of those students are studying sports science or sports coaching, and several of the teams currently competing at the Olympics have been training at the university's facilities - a bit like a cabbie, I can say I've had the captain of one of the Team GB teams in my office. It's been an education for me. I had no idea before of the level of work these young people put into achieving their dreams.
Every aspect of their training is studied, every possibility of gaining an advantage is examined whether that's in training, diet, psychology. They give up parties and going out. They give up eating their favourite foods. They get up at 4.00am to train. Everything they do is geared towards their aim: winning.
A writer's dedication is on a different level. As a creative, you can not work at the computer all the time; you need down time to refresh creativity, to meander around dead ends, to recharge the batteries.
But you do need to put the hours in. And those hours need to be put in consistently. You also need to be able to take the knocks of your work being judged not good enough and still get up and keep on writing. And you have to persist. It can take many years for your writing to start to come together and succeed in the wider world (if that's what you want to do, because success is going to mean different things for different people).
I believe that writing is open to everyone and everyone has the chance to succeed, so long as they keep on learning, keeping on writing, keep on reading, keep on trying. The only way to guarantee failure is to give up.