When I think of a "real" writer, I mentally "see" someone who eats/drinks/sleeps all the while they type. They walk through life writing on anything they find: every experience provides a prompt. A writer will die if they can't put their thoughts down on paper. A writer cannot imagine doing anything else in life.
I'm a hobbiest. I keep my writing goals small and I probably spend way more time researching than actually writing on my project. I agonize over story structure and scene placement. I labor over character profiles and endlessly search for photographs for visual references. I'm far more caught up in the process of writing than in the actual writing itself.
I still see myself as a hobbiest.
I stand on the outside of Twitterland and live vicariously through various writers who seem to eat/breath/drink the written word. I just don't fit in with most writers. It doesn't take me all day to write 1000 words - I can write that in two hours, easy. Most Twitter writers agonize over their word count and I think something's wrong with me.
Recognizing my hobbiest status takes tremendous pressure off my back: I don't agonize every word and couldn't give a fig for my word count. I don't fantasize about publishing my work and I only remotely dream of having Colleen Lindsay represent me. Just because I lull myself to sleep by imagining scenes from my book does not mean that I'll write them down in the morning. And so what if I highlight my favorite passages in books written by Tessa Dare or Mary Balogh...I'm still a hobbiest.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.