From the time I started freelancing, my goal was to be successful enough to have my membership application to ASJA approved.
In general, I think I'm fairly successful. I have work. I have lots of repeat clients. What I don't have are the "glamour" publications to my credit. Mostly I write for trades, not consumer pubs. It is rare when you'll find a magazine with my name on it on your newstand.
But in the fall, I got a second book contract, and my credits began to increase. My writing pal encouraged me to hold my nose and jump in the deep end -- send my application.
Word came back today: congratulations, you're in!
I finally feel like I'm an honest to goodness real professional writer now.