The easiest way to become a writer
When I applied to grad school and paid $1000 out of pocket (for the GRE and application fees), I was horrified by how cost-restrictive the process was, and I know that art--any art form--is the same way. If someone asked me, "what's your advice on becoming an artist?" (including "writer") I would say, "Be born into the bourgeoisie." I know that's not a nice answer, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier to afford supplies, go to school, and attend special events like conventions and retreats.
Obviously, non-affluent artists exist. We've heard the Cinderella stories of people who've overcome poverty to find success in writing--J. K. Rowling comes to mind. But those are the outliers, not the standard, and becoming a writer for anyone is a tough process. Not having money makes it harder.
I don't think you need fancy supplies or schools to learn how to write, but when it comes to conventions, workshops, and retreats, I'm moderately sold, because having support in your writing is profoundly valuable--especially when the people in your mundane life are pathologically disinterested.
I think it sucks that "making friends" in the writing world can be cost-restrictive. I know single mothers who really have to move earth to make it work. I think there should be more scholarships for this kind of thing--poor writers, minority writers, and single-parent writers--but the reason why there isn't is probably because writers don't make that much money.
BUT. You want to be a writer. Or an artist. Or whatever. And if you're seeing people talk about going to ~*~conventions~*~ and ~*~retreats~*~, my advice is to look for those scholarships and push to make friendships that could get you into a writer's community. And if you have a writer's community but you feel the odd one out due to class, keep pushing to belong. Because the most important thing everyone says they get out of workshops, like Viable Paradise, is the community. You should take advantage of it. The thing about the upper/upper-middle classes is that they've been raised with entitlement--that they deserve certain things, whether that's fitting in or getting attention.
You have to have the confidence of a wealthier person if you want to fit in, and you deserve to fit in. You're here, you're a writer, you want this--act like you deserve it.