Are you a writer or an author? Are they the same thing? Does it even matter? I’ve noticed that a few people tend to get hung up on the words that describe those of us who make up stuff, write it down, put a cover on it and sell it in hopes that people will like it.
I told someone recently that I was a writer, and they replied that no I wasn’t. My book was so good that it made me an ‘author’ not a writer, as if ‘writer’ was somehow a dirty word. I guess for some people if they see you as being very good at what you do (not that I’m saying I’m Shakespeare) it deserves a fancier sounding word.
You see, to me, the truth is we’re all just writers. All of us who do this no matter what title we hang on it are left alone facing the blank page at some point. When I’m there in front of a blank word document, especially if it’s a first draft, I’m not thinking about whether I’m a ‘writer’ or an ‘author’. I’m just hoping the words come. When they do I don’t say to myself, ‘way to go author’. I’m more like, “You finally thought of something you awesome word monkey you! You go you bad ass keyboard abusing Mofo!”
Yes this is really how I talk to myself when I feel I’ve done well. Personally I think the word ‘author’ is much to highbrow to apply to me. I prefer to think of myself as a writer. The hired gun by which the muse talks to the world. After all, those of us who do creative things know the truth don’t we? That it really isn’t us doing them at all. It’s the muse and we’re at her mercy. If we get too full of ourselves we risk pissing her off and never writing again.
If you’re creative at all you know this chick is fickle! She can come and stay for days and weeks, or leave you high and dry for months and years without so much as a phone call or a note scrawled in lipstick on the bathroom mirror. “Sorry writer. I have an idea that’s not worthy of you. It’s more J.K Rowling’s thing. Gone off to hang with her for a bit. I’ll see ya when I see ya!”
I don’t want anything, especially a title, to discourage her from coming and staying with me. I’m afraid if I get too fancy she’ll take off and go be with someone who’s not so serious.
So whether you’re a writer, an author, a word monkey or a keyboard abuser it doesn’t matter. We’re all at the mercy of the blank page and a fickle little bitch who probably likes some other creative soul more than she likes you. I don’t know about you guys but I don’t plan to get too cocky!