I have mentioned elsewhere that the best work of history I have read in a long, long time is Keith Thomas’s The Ends of Life: Roads to Fulfillment in Early Modern England.
When he shut himself in a bedroom to write, his anxious family held a conference and did everything to dissuade him. “There’s something far wrong with a man who writes letters to himself!” his brother exploded. “If you’d just been a pouf the priest could have talked to you or one of us could have battered it out of you. But what the hell can anybody do about a writer?” When he received his first check for a short story, his mother was convinced that he had committed some kind of fraud and insisted that he return it. And when a television play of his was reviewed “his mother was shocked and and said that theirs had been a respectable family until then; never once had any of their names been in the paper.