I’m an author – I think

In the past, when people asked me what I did, I’d say, “Well, for a long time I was a computer programmer, and then I was a technical writer.” If they looked confused at that – and most did – I’d say, “I wrote manuals explaining how to use software,” and they’d nod, whether they understood or not.


Then they’d ask, or I’d feel I had to add, “Now I’m at home and I write.” With raised eyebrows they’d ask, “What sort of thing do you write?” and I’d mumble, “Oh, different things.” Then came the inevitable question: “Have you had anything published?” to which I’d mumble, “A couple of short stories in anthologies,” as if they don’t really count – not because I think that’s true, but because they probably do. Their question probably meant, “Have you had a whole book published?”

Suddenly, everything has changed. Now when people ask me what I do, I say, “Ani soferet” – I’m an author. They look at me with wide eyes. “Wow!” And I smile and nod.

But something bothers me about all this. Was it the signing of a contract that turned me into an author? Surely I’ve been an author since I started writing. Why couldn’t I ever say that before?

On the other hand, I suppose I couldn’t say it because I’d have felt I didn’t deserve the “Wow!” that followed.

Anyway, it’s happened now and I’ve taken a big leap and landed in a bed of Cats – Crooked Cats. There is even a catalogue.

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

6 replies on “I’m an author – I think”

I completely understand where you are coming from, Miriam. I have considered myself an author for several years now. I even self-published a book in that time, but I don’t feel that people quite believed that I am an author until I had signed a contract with a publisher. I’m not really sure if I’m happy to have my years of acknowledged or offended that my work didn’t seem “to count” until now.

I’ve considered myself a published author ever since I self-published Neverlove. Sometimes, you have to reach that particular milestone for you to feel the comfort to say what you’re heart has always known 🙂

This made me think… I tell people I’m a writer now (it’s taken a long time to even say that) as I write at work but I often go into a lengthy explanation of what I write and that I ‘write other stuff too,’ like I’m apologising for the fact I haven’t written a book yet, which I suppose I am. Really though, I think if someone is writing (or has written) a book, then they are an author. Getting published it the next major milestone. Having said that, I’m not sure I’ll refer to myself as an author until I’m published either! It must feel great to be able to say it with pride 🙂

I try to avoid saying that I’m an author or even a writer. I feel self-conscious, as if I will disappoint them because they except an author to be famous and fabulous and I’m neither of those.

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