“Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.”
(Casual Chance, 1964)”
Author or writer, which is the right title? Is an author also a writer and if so, is a writer also an author? And in which category does a poet belong? And what about the blogger?
I always insist that I am not a writer, yet I might know a thing or two about writing. I found this old essay hidden in my ‘don’t-delete-but-keep files’ and thought I share.
What is the difference between an author and a writer?
Many name the author and the writer in the same breath. The two terms are often used for one and the same activity. However, there is a difference between the writer and the author that clearly sets them apart. A writer is always the author of a text with a literary origin. These could be novels, poems or other works of literature. In general, the writer can also be described as the author or creator of linguistically important publications.
An author, on the other hand, is a ‘creator’ who can not only write literary works, but also non-fiction or specialist literature. Furthermore, an author could publish picture books, photo series or comics, since it is only about recognizing the authorship, not about the writing itself. In a more distant sense, publishers and developers of music, software, games or films are therefore also referred to as authors. This means that every writer is an author, but not every author has to have written a literary contribution to be active in the field of activity and therefore cannot necessarily be called a writer.
Who can call themselves an author?
As already mentioned, authors are always the creators/developers of a work that comes either from the literary world, the music scene, the film industry or other artistic and creative areas. Authors are not only those who write their own manuscript, but also people who work through existing works, create an illustrated book or develop a music video. Journalistic contributions also originate from the author, because he is, so to speak, always the author of the respective work that is published.
Are poets writers?
Basically yes, because a poet also creates a literary work himself, which corresponds to the tasks of a writer. However, in the literary industry, a distinction is usually made between the writer and the poet. After all, the poet drafts lyrical works from his ideas that have nothing in common with classical fiction, and therefore has a limited field of activity. According to this, a poet would be a writer, but rather a special form of one who deals exclusively with the creation of lyric and poetry.
Who can call themselves a writer?
A writer is only someone who in any way writes a work of literary origin. This could be a novel, but also a series of poems or a short text, a fable or a fairy tale, as long as the person has designed and written the manuscript himself.
Can a author be a writer?
Yes, an author can also be a writer, but does not necessarily have to occupy both fields of activity. However, insofar as the author wrote the work independently, he is definitely a writer and author in one.
Who came first, author or writer?
Both terms arose more or less at the same time, namely the 17th century in connection with an early form of their current field of activity. However, the term “author” was already used in another connection in the Middle Ages. At that time, author and authority were equated, so the title “author” was used for writers who were highly respected. Certainly, even before the 17th century, there were people who designed literary works from their own ideas and thus count among the writers. In this context, the “creation of writings” was already evident in the 16th century, when those people primarily created petitions or legal writings. In the 17th century the writer replaced the author as a professional title.
Author vs. writer, who earns more?
The income depends on the number of published works, the quality, the target audience, the intervals between two publications and many other criteria. So it may well be that the writer conquers the bestseller lists with just one work and earns a lot of money, with which he could secure his existence for several months, years or, in the best case, even permanently. Furthermore, it would also be conceivable that the royalties and the fee move within a smaller framework, whereupon an additional main job has to be accepted.
When asked which of the two earns more, it can be said that the author has more leeway to receive income. After all, he can not only publish novels he has written himself, but also earn his living as the author of summaries of existing texts, in the journalistic field as a copywriter for regular articles in newspapers or as the author of scientific advice. The writer, on the other hand, is always a writer who writes texts of a literary genre, including dramas, poems or novels. That is why he has fewer opportunities to secure his earnings. This could give the author a slight advantage and, related to this, the better prospects for good earnings.
Again, a writer with an international bestseller can end up earning more than an author who only earns the minimum monthly amount of income with smaller journalistic articles.
How do the target groups of writers and authors differ?
The author’s target audience are all readers of works that person has published. This means that a readership of scientific textbooks could also be among the followers of the author as subscribers of a newspaper, book lovers or even music fans as well as a loyal comic book readership. The target group of the writer, on the other hand, is limited to the readers who read a text contribution with a literary origin such as a book or a poem.
What are the educational differences between the author and the writer?
In general, both fields of activity are not protected job titles that require state-recognized training and a valid teaching occupation/course of study. In other words, anyone can basically become an author or writer. However, suitable study opportunities or training in journalism are a prerequisite for working as a journalist with the author, while a writer does not have to take these framework conditions into account when writing literary works.
Is a blogger a writer or an author?
In addition to the terms writer and author, there are other terms such as recorder, blogger, publicist, copywriter or the poet.
Many of these titles are not decisive for the correct assignment to a literary area, because they merge into one another. Accordingly, the writer is always the author of a work and the author is always the author of facts, the author of a creative manuscript or, in part, the author, provided he has developed the text independently. It is similar with the writer, who is also the author of his works.
A blogger writes texts for his own or a guest blog, which means he is an author. He does not have to be a writer if his content has no literary origin. Publishing, in turn, refers to the publication of a work, so that a writer and author could also be a publicist. Ultimately, the term does not have much of an impact on literary careers as long as it is not used entirely incorrectly. This might be the case when someone is labeled a blogger if they write poetry. However, whether a person is named as an author or a writer, as an author or as a creator, turns out to be almost identical in most cases.
I am so glad this is not confusing!