Is There a Difference Between a “Writer” and an “Author”?

 

by Teagan Berry

 

Writer: A person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation.

Author: A writer of a book, article, or report.

 

Looking at these two words based solely upon their definitions, you wouldn’t think twice about distinguishing a difference between them, and yet, many people consider these words to be very different after all.

Authors are published. Authors are respected. Authors are to be taken seriously.

Writer’s are unpublished, looked down upon, and should just go out and get a “real job”.

Under these social constructs, I would be considered a writer and nothing more. I’ve never been published, and the pipe dream that I have about writing for a career is for the most part useless and just that, a dream. Nothing more.

But I would like to challenge the social norms and say that all writers and authors, whether published or unpublished, are one and the same. And I’m sure that there are many others in the writing community who will support my claim. Yes, there will be some differences between unpublished and published members of the writing community, but I believe it’s the differences that makes our community stronger, and more whole.

 

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Many unpublished writers still have much to contribute to the writing community, through experiences, tips and tricks they’ve come across over their years perfecting their craft, or just being a supportive person willing to be another’s cheerleader. And these are only just some of the examples of ways unpublished writers/authors should garner respect from society. Unpublished writers come from a different viewpoint than published writers. That’s important. Diversity in the writing community is always welcome, and I know from all of the interactions between writers I see online through social media, this diversity is requested. People want to know others experiences with issues they’re facing. To answer these questions, you don’t have necessarily be a published author.

One day, I hope we all live in a world where a distinction doesn’t lie between being called a writer and an author, and one is looked upon in a lesser manner. Until then, everyone in the writing community, and anyone else for that matter, can do whatever is in their power to stop the negative stigma surrounding being an unpublished “writer”. Celebrate writers and authors alike, use the words interchangeably, spread the word that unpublished people are authors too.

And as per usual, keep writing, everyone!

Until next time.

 

 

 

 

 

Guest post contributed by Teagan Berry. Teagan writes books, watches sports, and reads. She started her blog initially to beat writer’s block, but it’s turned into so much more. 

 

 

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “Is There a Difference Between a “Writer” and an “Author”?

  1. Would a painter only be a painter if they’d sold a painting? Sculptor a sculpture? Poet a poem? Musician a song? If you’ve written and been read — your a writer. Wrote a novel? You’re a novelist. What if you only ever author work for charity?

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  2. I just call myself a writer (even though I do use the word ‘author’ in some profiles) even though I’ve garnered a few bylines and a book deal. I don’t really care what I call myself, or what others call me, as long as I’m putting out the work every day.

    But I do at least call myself a writer because I feel like that helps me write every day (just so I can live up to the title, lol).

    Thanks for this thought-provoking post!

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  3. What a thoughtful and meaningful post. I really agree with the sentiment that a writer and author ought to be considered to have equal importance. If I think of myself as “just a writer” I know that I will never let myself have anything published. Through all of the mental noise of my anxiety it is difficult to put one word in front of the other, nevermind worrying as well about if I can ever become an author. I never considered myself to be an author before, because I fancied that that involved earning money. But I have a blog. I will use the words ‘author’ and ‘writer’ interchangeably now. I didn’t know the true definition of ‘author,’ and love the term ‘unpublished author:’ it sounds mysterious and alluring.

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  4. I totally agree, I am working on my first book, have one poem published but have called myself author in my url because I aspire to get my first book published and because it clarifies what I am writing I feel.

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  5. I would say a writer is somebody who writes books for a living, and an author is somebody who writes but doesn’t necessarily earn any money from their writing. This topic, which I wrote about in June 2018, remains one of my most popular blog posts.

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  6. I wrote some short stories, newspaper for church, blogs….you are right, people don’t really see that as something real….just a hobby, nothing special like a published book or articles for newsworthy papers and magazines…..hmmm

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