To write you do not in fact have to “be passionate” or some such thing and in fact I prefer not to be — I greatly prefer calm. I think that the idea that “if you were interested enough, you would overcome anything” is a version of the artist-in-a-garret ideal. You have to feel well enough, you have to be comfortable enough physically, your mind must be clear enough. You are also far better off not being undermined, and having allies.
The kinds of needs I am talking about are the kinds of needs the time management gurus do not even imagine not having met. Their ideas of being “passionate” or “interested” enough to overcome obstacles do not cover the more extreme kinds of sacrifice others have made. This does not invalidate advice on time management, which I also endorse. It is just that, as I say, time management and “being serious” are only all you need if you have good circumstances otherwise.
(“Doing anything” just to remain an academic — but would you sell a kidney, for instance? I know someone who did and I would not, but according to some that might just mean I was not “serious” enough! How far is one to go?)
Things are nonetheless done in difficult circumstances. Allies really help, I find. Allies and not mere exhorters.