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Some kind person called me an author the other day and it felt decidedly odd. I’m a writer although more often than not I call myself a storyteller.

Writing is what I do, not ‘authoring.’ (Which must however be a thing otherwise spellcheck would have told me off.) Author is a construct, a passing conceit which I’m not altogether sure I understand. Writer is authentic. It describes a physical act made of pencil shavings and the tapping of a keyboard.

The idea that anyone would refer to me as an ‘author’ is genuinely bewildering. But maybe all writers have an alter-ego and once they get a publishing deal, that’s who it is. The Author – all fancy frock and no knickers vying for her place alongside the writer in her PJs.

I’m writing another book now. Back to the beginning, slightly more visible but nevertheless, on draft zero with only an idea and a hunger to do it all again. There can be no expectation, which makes it slightly scary. Maybe I do need a bit of  ‘author me’ if only to buoy my confidence.

And there’s a nice paradox here, which the discerning amongst you will have spotted. Who wrote this – the author or the writer?

I’m the storyteller.

Are you sitting comfortably?

*Margaret Atwood

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