Wow, what a powerful question! I'm sure there are tons of opinions about this, and the topic is far-reaching.
This month's VBT - Writers on the Move Viewpoint is hosted by Nancy Famolari and she poses this question.
My comment on Nancy's site:
This is such a powerful question. I think many writers don't view themselves as "real writers" unless they're accepted by traditional publishers.
The problems arises in that there are a sea of writers and only a bucket of publishers. What happens to the majority of writers who don't fit into the bucket?
I, most days, don't feel like a "real writer," but I keep plugging away!
But, there's so much more to this topic. Nancy mentions self-publishing as a means to an end and believes it's a courageous option. But, as a self-published author and a reviewer for BookPleasures.com, I need to delve into this topic a bit more.
First, I have to say there are some self-published books that are excellent. It is evident in their books that the authors followed the rules of writing and had their work professionally edited (and a reader and reviewer can certainly tell the difference). But, there are a number of authors who it appears do not even have their work proofread or even critiqued. This is where self-publishing gets into trouble.
While I think self-publishing is a great avenue for writers to get their work published, I would strongly advise to have the manuscript in a critique group, have it proofread and professionally edited.
Then, what about freelance writers who write for free online magazines or news sources, or get $2.00 to $5.00 for their articles. Do they consider themselves real writers?
Back to the original question: I think any writer who turns out a well-written and engaging book or article is a "real writer," not matter how it gets published!
That's my 2 cents!
Be sure to check out Nancy's original post.
Talk to you soon,