I'm a quasi-professional writer. I say quasi only because I haven't been paid much or very often and I say professional because I have in fact been paid for my words. One of the single most exciting, and validating, things to ever happen to me was to sell a short story (bout 7,000 words) last spring to Harlequin, only the most prolific publisher of womens' fiction ever. It'll be released in electronic format this coming spring. That was the first time I actually thought "I'm a writer" without feeling the need to justify the claim.
It also gave me the drive I needed to pick up a book I'd started last year and walked away from months earlier. Now I'm more than 65,000 words in, nearing the end of my story and I'm stuck. There are parts that I think are very good and parts that I think are probably very bad, and as a whole I think its probably not the best piece of fiction ever written, far from it. I don't even think it is saleable. But I've never gotten so close to completing a full length book before now and I want to finish this.
I can't help thinking that a real writer would.