Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Writer or Author?

I recently had the pleasure of having a conversation with someone about the difference between the "Titles" Author and Writer.

Their beef was that people were calling them a writer rather than calling them an Author.

Now, I am not one to be insensitive to this since I have debated this myself at one time or another, a long time ago. That, however, was before I stopped giving a crap about what titles or labels other people put on me…

The simple answer is that a writer is “technically” someone who writes, and an “author” is someone who also writes… The only provision is that an author is also, for whatever reason, labeled as a creator. (i.e. someone can author a plan. Or someone might label God as the Author of the universe.)

Now, without being too much of a jerk, I can tell you that there’s pretty much no difference. Like it or not. If you write, even if you are doing re-writes or editing, you are helping to author that work.

Some people will contest this point of view but, before I tell you how much of a first world problem this is, and recommend that you get a real job. Hear me out.

Writers write. Point blank. End of story.

It’s a saying that I’ve heard all my life and found to be as true in saying as it is in practice. When I was taking on other work like working fry side at a local restaurant, baling hay, mowing lawns, doing small construction jobs, getting published for my technical writing or managing an entire department at a large manufacturer, I was always writing.

I never considered myself anything other than a writer and I never assumed that this was any different than being an author. I was writing in my spare time. I was creating my own works as an author. Same thing.

Not sure why but this thought never even came to mind until I began associating with other people who had published works and then, all of a sudden, it became a topic of conversation.

Keep in mind too that your “Qualifications” may not carry over into another field of writing. So even if you are published in fiction you may not cut it in the published world of non-fiction or technical writing or vice versa. Having said that this is not the hill that I’m prepared to die on.

In my mind there is no difference.

Unless you have only the one pompous thread of “being an author” holding your confidence and/or life force together I don’t understand why this would even matter.

Yet to some people it does. Oh well, to each his or her own. I won’t be losing any sleep over what you call yourself, whether you’re published or not. As long as you KEEP WRITING!

Write on, and read what I write.

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