This morning, I was talking to a parent while dropping my 5-year old off at school. She asked me if I was a teacher, (if you could have seen how I was dressed, you would know how ridiculous that question was.) I told her I was a writer. The next question she asked is one I get a lot of when people find out what I do. “What books have you written?”
That got me thinking. What, if anything, is the difference between a writer and an author? I think there’s a difference.
Granted, I write for a living. I put words to “paper” and with any luck, people read my words and take something away from my writing. My work is not credited, and as long as my bills are getting paid, I’m okay with that. I do my best to give my clients and my current employer the kind of writing and information they’re looking for. I do my job, retain little information from my research, and go on about my day. My writing means very little to me. That is why, in my opinion, I am a writer, not an author.
Authors take the time to provide invaluable information, educate, and entertain. They slave over a computer and put a little of themselves into each and every book they produce. Good authors subtly reveal their strengths, weaknesses, insecurities, sense of humor, etc. into their work, and each book means something to them.
Anyone with a somewhat decent grasp of the English language (or their native language) can write. However, not everyone has what it takes to be an author.
So, are you an author or a writer?