Writing is, as I tell my nieces when explaining verbs, “a doing word” – by which I mean, to qualify as a writer, you really need to be engaged in the process of actually writing. Sadly, sitting in a coffee shop ordering endless skinny lattes and wondering how to spend your Booker Prize money doesn’t count. I know this now. Wafting a biro while looking, mournfully, out of the window also doesn’t cut it.
Greater minds than mine have ruminated on what it takes to be a consummate wordsmith. I can only go on what I see, on the model of my penwielding friends – in which case, you know you’re a proper writer if your constant desk-based travails mean you have to attend weekly sessions with an osteopath, simultaneously worrying how on earth you’re going to afford to pay for the treatment.