Today’s word of the day turns into two - and they aren’t randomly picked like normal. I’ll explain why in a minute -
author - 1. Someone who writes a literary work. 2. Someone who creates or originates anything. (p 29)
writer - One who writes, esp. as an occupation: author (p 481)
Hm, they sound synonymous with each other, don’t they? But, are they really?
I am an author. I am an author in the sense that I write this blog. I author answers to supplemental interviews for our authors. I author propositions for book signings. I author emails to pursue business relationships.
Am I a writer? I used to be, but I am not now. A writer is someone who takes care to learn their craft. An author can write anything. An author can write op’eds for a living, news articles, blogs, reviews, scientific text, a college syllabus, a grammar school book report, a college school paper, a text message, a tweet, a facebook status post, a joke.
A writer wants to hone their skills, craft that perfect scene, or that delightfully evil antagonist a reader loves to hate and hates to love. A writer gets into arguments with their characters. They scrap scenes only to put them back in again, to take them out, to put them back in, to asking someone else for their opinion and listening. A writer wakes up in the middle of the night because they had an epiphany and just had to write it down right now or they won't be able to go back to sleep, but when they wake up after satisfying the inner scribe and finding slumber once more, they ask someone else their thoughts. A writer takes classes, is part of writers groups, is looking for ways to better their skills - to better themselves. A writer crafts a story, an author throws words out there with a point to make.
So which are you? An author or a writer? If you’re not pushing yourself to your limits and then pushing beyond that to learn your art, you’re an author. If you are passionate about your work and want to make it the best of the best - evolving, learning, evolving some more, learning even more - and continue on that quest (which provides a better than the last experience for your readers) each time you finish a novel - you are a writer.
One is more important than the other, depending on your career goals of course. Each are equally important in the grand scheme of things. However, it is up to you to decide and take action accordingly.