I was recently asked this question and had no hesitation in answering it.
“Why did you give that answer?” was the next question.
Although I had given an answer, the person asking me the questions went away not fully convinced I had answered their questions correctly.
Later that evening, while laying in bed and not able to get to sleep, the question kept going round and round in my head. ‘Am I an author or a writer?’
When asked the question, earlier that day, my answer was that I was a writer. When asked why I was not an author, I put it down to the fact that I have never had a book published. I’ve written quite a few short stories and am in the process of writing a book, but I have only ever published my short stories on my blog. Doesn’t that then mean that I am a writer, and not an author?
I’ve asked the same question to a few people who I know enjoy writing and those that have had books published declared themselves as authors, whereas most of those that have written, but never had anything published in a book, declared themselves as writers. So I thought my argument was won and that I had answered the question correctly. Then somebody mentioned to me that I should consider myself as a ‘trainee author’, which I guess I am because I want to have my stories published in a book one day, but the word ‘author’ still means something completely different to me, even with the word ‘trainee’ in front of it.
I suppose just about every human being in this world of ours is a writer. Whether they write a letter, an email, a shopping list, or a greeting card, they’re actually writing, which makes them a writer. However, if I look at it another way, writing a letter, an email, shopping list, or a greeting card is not being creative, is it? So, maybe the word writer can mean lots of different things?
If asked, I’ll never answer that I am an author, because I don’t believe I am. Yes, I have a number of short stories under my belt which have been published on my blog, but that does not make me an author. Not just yet anyway. If I go ahead and have those short stories published in a book then I would gladly answer that I am an author but, until I do so, as far as I am concerned I am a writer…for now.
Here’s something else to throw on the fire. Having written this article, can I now consider myself as the author of it? Does that mean I am, after all, an author? Am I digging myself into a very deep hole here or is there a simple answer to the question ‘am I an author or a writer?’
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