For me, getting serious about writing was when the readers and more importantly my publisher asked about a sequel to the first novel. That was when I knew that what I'd written was good enough. Being accepted for publication was a big step, especially given that I'm severely dyslexic, but it still wasn't quite real. But getting the first publishers cheque (OK, bank transfer) and then being asked about a sequel, that was proof that I'd made it - and that I had to be serious if I was to deliver a good enough sequel.>So, if you want to be serious about writing
That's a fairly big field. Does serious mean make a living at it? Does serious mean finishing a novel and submitting (or self-publishing)? Just for perspective, serious in my case meant the latter. Just getting a major story done.
But once that was done, how then to be serious? So I changed the goal to be, make enough money to cover costs (ads, covers, edits, etc.). Still not there.
But even then, that's more of a goal that a characteristic. I guess serious for me really just means keep telling stories until I look around in Altearth and decide there aren't any more stories to tell. OK, so what does "keep telling" mean? A book a year? Never taking time off? If I just stop for a month or a year, am I no longer serious? Or, with four books and four short stories published, have I already crossed the Serious finish line and don't need to worry about it any more?
I'm not entirely sure. Which is fine by me. Being entirely sure feels decidedly uncomfortable.
I should perhaps add that I also found that getting serious about writing also put the pressure on. Suddenly I had something to live up to, expectations to meet. My writing wasn't just a hobby, a bit of fun, something to do when I was bored. It was a lot more than that. That changes the game - and if you don't want to live with that sort of pressure, for whatever reason, then you should perhaps ask yourself why you are writing.