Actually, I became a 'real writer' the moment I stood up and said I was at a writers' workshop run by David Gerrold at a Star Trek convention in the 1980s. He was the guest of honour, as the writer of Trouble with Tribbles, and offered to do the workshop as he was also teaching writing at the time. He got us all to admit, in that room, that we were already writers as long as we put pen to paper - it didn't matter if we were published or not. He was very persuasive.
Getting paid for your writing is a big step further on, though - and yesterday I got an email from Smashwords to tell me that they were paying me the first earnings that I had made on their website.
I'm a real writer, and I have the grand sum of £6.91 (or $10.90) to prove it!
As they say, you can't fail at e-publishing - the worst you can do is succeed very, very slowly!