Writers and Authors

An interesting perspective on the difference between writers and authors today from Jason Sanford.  His view in a nutshell: an author is what happens when a writer engages with readers and grows from that experience.  The short-short version: writers write; authors are writers with readers.

I must admit, I’ve often used the two words interchangeably.  At the same time, however, I’ve also often treated the word “author” as though it is something higher and nobler than just a writer.  I’m a writer, and I’ve no qualms at calling myself such.  But I also classify myself as an aspiring author.  As if, somehow, I know that though I am a writer, I’m not yet an author.  I think, maybe Jason’s perspective has some merit.  At the very least, it seems to resonate with how I’ve used the words in the past.

At the same time, however… this perspective does not suggest that I’ve crossed the threshold between writer and author when I get published, and paid for my work.  Instead, it suggests I’ve crossed the threshold when I engage my writing with readers, when I experience feedback and react to feedback by learning and growing and improving my craft.  One can argue that this threshold could be crossed either before or after getting professionally published.

But by that perspective, am I then already an author, and not an aspiring author at all?

Words to think on, perhaps.