Monday, February 4, 2013

You is a writer. You is an author. You is awesome.

It was a week or so ago that I saw someone online mention how they were, "taking a stand against the title of author." She said she was a writer, not an author. I had to double-take and wonder what was so important about the distinction that the writer had to get so worked up over it.

Which led me to the next inevitable question: What is the difference between a writer and an author? So I did what any reasonably sane person would do in this tech age; I Googled it. According to a little website called, "A writer is a person who writes a book, article, or any literary piece, while an author is essentially the person who originates the idea, plot, or content of the work being written." How accurate this information is, is unknown. (I'm assuming that because it is on the Internet, it is true because nothing that isn't true can be put on the Internet. Bonjour.)

If that distinction is true, then I'm even more confused by that writer's insistence on her title. So I wasted my valuable time reaching for yet another answer. According to author Dean Wesley Smith, "A Writer is a person who writes. An Author is a person who has written." Author Jason Stanford says, "An author has readers. A writer doesn't."

No disrespect to anyone who is hell-bent on their own distinction but here's my opinion on it:

Whatevs, Dude.

I've always considered myself both and it doesn't matter to me which title people prefer to label me. However, I will take issue with my tax preparer putting my occupation as "eBay Seller" on my forms last year because apparently she couldn't process that I was an actual writer. I mean author. I mean writer. I mean... oh, crap. Now my head hurts.

On that same thought, could the title have something to do with the reaction writer/authors get from the general public when we say we are writer/authors? People just don't seem to believe me. Those who haven't read my work have a hard time understanding that, yes, I'm a published author, yes, I write stories and yes, I make money from it. It is a job. I do have other jobs, yes, but writing is a profession of mine. It's not some flighty hobby that I might do once or twice a year. It is a career. For example, just the other day, I was speaking with a local police officer and he was telling me about his gardening business. I then told him that I was a writer. "A writer?" he says with a half laugh. I get that reaction more than I would like.

But back to the point; I think we writer/authors sometimes overthink things. Regardless what you like to call yourself or what other people like to call you, you're awesome. You have to be to have the gumption to get those thoughts down and to open yourself and your work up to others. Don't sweat these small distinctions. Focus on the important stuff, like getting those brilliant ideas down on the screen, because ultimately, that's what's important.

Peace, love, and don't call me an eBay Seller,



  1. Aw shucks! My blog post about this didn't come up in your Google search. Maybe authors have Google Juice?

    1. Post your link, Randy. I'm sure it's a hoot.