I don't have a formal degree in fields related to UX, although I've picked up good number of books and keep myself updated with UX blogs. They have proven to be the bulk of my UX knowledge so far along with this community. I would imagine the next step would be to start practicing and I've done so by contributing to non profit website redesigns. I'm constantly looking for projects that will help me build out my portfolio and acquire my first UX gig.
However, I feel that most gigs require over 2 years of experience even for the most entry level UX positions.
I'm definitely passionate and driven to make UX my full time profession, but what else do I need to do to get there?