I've had periods of feast and periods of famine. Right now it's sorta middle of the road for me. I do well enough to get by, which is great and I do feel blessed and lucky, but by no means do I make what someone with my credentials should be making. At least when I research it, my earnings always seem below what someone with 9 years and 140+ titles claims to be making.
A few quick thoughts before I go teach some piano lessons:
On top of being a composer, I also work in sound design and voice overs. Recording saxophone parts and doing concert recordings is also another way I make ends meet. Finally, I teach saxophone and piano lessons out of my house a few days a week. In the past I've also freelanced out of studios as a sound engineer. If I tried to make my living solely as a composer, it wouldn't work out very well.
2) Be okay with feast and famine.
It happens to everyone. I once had about 14-15 months of steady work. Each month I had 2-4 projects on my plate at one time. It was great! It was followed by 3-4 months were I had maybe 2 projects. It's easy to ride the wave when things are great and even easier to forget about the good times when work is thin.
3) Clients get what they pay for.
I've been under bid many times. I know there are many guys (and gals!) much cheaper than I am. There are also folks working for free. In a few experiences where I was undercut by a freebie or really young guy, the client actually came back to me and asked to pay my normal rate. They describe the nightmarish experience of having a composer who was flakey or horrible to work with. That client recognized the value of hiring someone who meant business and paying a premium for that. Are there folks that work for peanuts or free to break in and do great work? Absolutely! But too often I've run across cheap composers who lack professionalism in how they conduct themselves and their business.
4) Be flexible
If you go long enough with no bites or without landing any work, be willing to reorganize your plan. Change how you're promoting yourself. Figure out a new way to market yourself or interact with the dev community. 3-4 months without work isn't uncommon from what I've heard. But 8-12 months is definitely a sign that something's amiss.
5) The work IS out there.
You just have to figure out how to make yourself stand out from others. Part of our job as audio folks is to be known. Making great audio is the easy (and first step). Being known and being the type of guy or gal that folks wanna work with is the hard part!