|Just another author|
Being an Author carries with it some sense of wonder and authority. As in, "Wow, someone liked your writing so much they published it." In reality, it's really more like, "Wow, someone thought your writing was good enough to sell and turn a decent profit." Semantics? Perhaps.
But what's the difference between a writer and an author? Don't they both do essentially the same thing? Is it a matter of one being more eccentric, more indy, less novice-like, more talented, confident, actually published, or is it merely a declaration of purpose that separates the Authors from the just-Writers?
Authors write. It's what they do. They don't "auth," after all, or "author" their novels, except in strange social circles where people use incredibly proper grammar and annoy the hell out of anyone nearby. At its heart, this is -- quite literally -- a matter of semantics.
To me, being an author is more about attitude than it is about writing. It is how you see and present yourself. "I'm a writer," could mean just about anything. What do you write? Articles, sports columns, blog posts, journal entries, PHP code? Anyone can write, but it requires a little something more to call yourself an author.
That "something more" isn't a published book, however -- it is an attitude. Much like a baptism, or a marriage ceremony, you're not physically changed afterward, but you have made a declaration that you are now different. You have devoted yourself to something and want everyone to know it. You want to be viewed differently.
It's decided in that moment where, when someone asks what you do for a living or notices that there is such a thing as a book with your name on it, you must own up to the fact that you write books. "I write books," you say. An author says it with confidence, proud of his work and excited to share it with others. A writer may appear bashful, ashamed, or awkward. They have no idea what to do when someone is interested. We all have these moments.
Becoming an author is not every writer's goal (dream?). It is not an evolutionary advance, and it has nothing to do with how many people recognize your name (or book title). An author is not simply a person who has written an entire book. Neither does the completion of said book mean that every sentence their fingers produce from then on is worth its weight in gold.
|Just another author|
Being a writer is something you could take or leave. It's not that being an author requires commitment on your behalf so much as it demands submission to your creative impulses. It's a compulsion.
There are things you cannot do and be an author at the same time, though these things are different for each person. Much like being a professional musician, being an author requires sacrifice to that art -- whereas being a writer just requires finding the time.
There's no need to decide right now. If, however, you plan to pursue writing, you need to ask yourself whether you want to truly become an author. How much are you willing to give up to achieve that dream? Is it worth it to you?
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