I used to believe there was only one way to be a successful writer. Traditional publishing has been long-seen as the true rite of passage into authorship. To some extent, credibility solidifies with a brand and a logo stamped on a book cover. Make no mistake, most if not all writers feel a euphoric surge the first time they see their own name in print.
I know I did. I still do. But, I'm discovering a deeper truth. Publishing does not a writer make. Writing makes a writer. Sharing the written word with others merely proves authorship to others. How that sharing happens matters less than readers--whether family, friends, acquaintances or strangers--being stirred by words demanding presence on a page.
What matters most? A writer providing those words that page and a presence.