Ed Kovacs writes an article that touches on the fluctuating self-image of being a writer. He starts with:
Getting paid is the measure of being a professional.
He quickly discovered that he might have been technically professional, but his approach was anything but:
I was a professional alright, but it was the ‘myth’ of being a writer that captivated me, and I was trying to live the myth as I hobnobbed in café society. Unfortunately, I was lazy, poorly organized, a terrible net worker and had lousy follow-through. I had no realistic career strategy, poor writing habits, and didn’t know a thing about marketing. I wasted years carousing, chasing women, and basically screwing around. Oh it was fun and I was a professional writer. Technically, a professional. A real writer? Hardly. Not in what has become my opinion of what a real writer is. I was a dilettante and didn’t know it.
He raises some good points. Often people are enamoured with the concept of being a writer, flouncing about with a half-bottle of bourbon and muttering 'I'll damn well write when my muse takes me'*. But it takes more than just selling a few pieces and collecting by lines to be professional.
*imagery may be exaggerated for effect
Might I just mention here that we want Literarium to be the kind of software tool a writer would use to streamline their projects and submissions, tasks and finances, and start taking the job seriously. Just as an aside. Apropos of nothing.
Have a read of the rest of the article here: http://backspacewriters.blogspot.com/2011/10/what-makes-you-real-writer.html