If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, you need to act like an author. That doesn't mean donning a cravat or reciting poetry in the pub when you've had a few. It means having the attitude of a writer. If you don't value what you do and believe it's a justifiable occupation, no one else is going to. Drop your writing every time someone wants a chat on the phone or wants your help with their pet project, and not only will you never finish it, but everyone will regard what you do as 'a nice little interest'–something that's of little importance, even to you.
When people ask what you do, say: "I'm a writer (or author)" and if they ask if you've had anything published, don't be embarrassed if you haven't. Once, a friend introduced me to a leading light of a local amateur dramatic society she belonged to as having had 'a couple of stories published'. The response was: "In anything I might have heard of?" Miaow! I wasn't quick enough to reply: "That depends on how well-read you are", but that's the attitude I should have had. As for having 'a couple' of stories published? That's 60 plus, thank you. 
No one asks people who draw or paint if they've sold any of their work or exhibited it. They respect that it's a worthwhile activity in itself that not everyone can do well, and that needs to be worked at. So is writing. It isn't something you need to apologise for. It shows that you have good organisational skills, determination and above all, imagination.
Albert Einstein said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Hear! Hear!