This is a matter I have spent some time pondering how to address. I have on a few occasions been asked for advice by young wannabe linguists and/or their parents. They wanted to know how best to start learning and practising the skills that they would later need in full-time translation. When you consider the investment of time required, the sooner the process begins, the better it is.
Commitment, determination, and passion are key to pulling through the longs hours needed to reach our goal.