I've been writing since I was in grade school, but had always been embarrassed to admit that I wrote and would never dare to call myself a writer. I had notebooks full of stories stuffed away in drawers that never saw the light of day.
Years later, after my boys started school and I started writing and submitting stories, I wouldn't tell my relatives for fear that they'd discourage or--even worse--laugh at me.
After I had a few short pieces published, I told my close relatives and proudly showed off my work. Then I finally had my first novel published. I think my family thought that was my big break, but the book didn't turn out to be a bestseller and I'm still trying to get my first romance novel published, but so far, no takers.
But, I'm no longer ashamed or afraid to tell people that I write. I even told my dentist that I write romance novels. He was actually impressed. In fact, most of the people I've told have reacted that way.
I realized that even though I only make a minimum amount of money off my writing, the fact that I spend at least eight solid hours a week--often more--in writing related projects, makes me a writer.
And that's something to be proud of.