A professional writer is someone who gets paid professional fees to write copy. A hobbyist does not. Be careful not to confuse the two.
People who get paid to talk about writing aren't necessarily professional writers. A professional writer is someone who gets paid to open up a blank document and start typing copy that is eventually published or utilized in some form of commerce, whether it is a direct mail campaign or a book.
Hobbyists sometimes pose as professional writers.
For those of you who don't know my complete story (and why would you), there was a time in my career when I was responsible for the marketing, revenue, and operational efforts of a multi-million dollar business unit that sold offering envelopes to churches.
Offering envelopes are about as sexy as ... um .... NOTHING.
Nevertheless, we managed to sell more than 130 million of them a year to more than 12,000 customers.
Fire a client? I know. It sounds backwards, doesn't it?
But the great thing about life is you get to decide who you want to work with and what you want to do.
One of the quotes I'll never forget from Tom Peter's book is this ...