Hey,

even though I did not read every single answer so far in this thread, I write my own short story as a working musician.

I have to say, I like the english name "working musician", because this is, what I am and how I feel. I am neither a well known guitarist nor do I have my own great successfull band with many fans, I even would go so far to say, I'm not super good in any special music style.
For me, playing the guitar is my passion. I started kind of early, learning classical guitar with 7 yrs, winning some competitions, soon adding (! not replace) the electric guitar, becoming in my school and home village "the guitarist", having my first bands (I just recently looked it up, with 14 years, I played about 1-2 gigs per week) playing more and more, earning some money, being asked by people in the audience if I could show them some things (that's how I started teaching).... So I just slipped into this whole scene.
My roots are the british blues guitarists, but I always was open to everything. Up to today, I play, whatever is requiered, often jobs as as sub for different bands, no matter if it is blues or rock or funk or country or pop or musical or classic or jazz... With every job I learn something new. I am always well prepared for the next gig. Sometimes that means, that I have to practice a lot, sometimes I just show up (with my small duo "Gramm Art Project", we play e.g. mostly corporate events, jazzy tunes as backround music. But for fun, we started with "Silentmovie with livemusic", where we play live while showing old, german silentmovies (e.g. F.W. Murnau, L. Reiniger)). I have some students, they pay me directly when we meet each other, so if I'm on tour somewhere, I don't have to cancel stuff or find new dates for them. But being as musician is work. And it requires good organisation, you have to pay your tax, you have to talk to venues, manage all the different gigs and rehearsals for all those bands, you need to update your website, check your gear... and take care of your family (if you want to keep them)! Often I don't get too much sleep. It is nice to hang out with your music friends after the gig and drink some beers, but if there is a rehearsal the next morning, then you better be prepared and not too tired to concentrate. It is a job, a nice job, but being a musician requires much more than any university degree.
Yeah. Maybe a little bit chaotic, but that's about my story .