I think whatever the era, a writer's primary comfort lies in the fact that he or she is not a musician. Now those people have it tough!
Seriously, I think it is a great time to be a writer. With the internet and ebooks I can actually reach an audience of more than a few relatives and local readers. The internet makes all the difference. Imagine the publishing empire Ben Franklin would have made with that. He would have been a helluva blogger.