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The Difference Between An Author and A Writer.

Updated: Jul 20, 2020

People often wonder the difference between these too and want to know which category they fall into. It is actually rather simple. Let me explain.

You are a writer when...

You put pen to paper or hand to keyboard and create written material.

A writer may never take the next step with their manuscript. They leave it on their desktop and write a little more later. They can enjoy this process of journaling and reading material that no one ever sees beside them and a few other people. Other writers may have wanted the opportunity to become authors and never put their work out there for any number of reasons, including fear, self-doubt, limited belief in worthiness, or they didn't believe what they had to say mattered.

Writers often hide their abilities, keeping their wisdom locked away from the world. Please know that a writer becomes an author the moment they trust and put themselves out there in the world and an article or book becomes published.

Two dangers a writer may face, self-doubt and fear of failure

Self Doubt: Is this really a good article? I don't think anyone really wants to hear what I have to say. I'm not a great editor. This is garbage.

How to shift, "I don't know what people need, I only know that this message has come through me to be expressed it's okay for me to trust that message. Editors love editing I will give them the gift of editing my work for me and I will focus on my strengths."

Fear of Failure: What if I spend all this time, money, and energy, and nobody wants what I have written. I'm not really an author if I self publish. What if I go to book stores and they don't want my book. Why even write it if it will fail? Is being in a collaborative book even considered authorship?

How to Shift, "The book may fail but I never can fail. The only way I fail is by not putting out to the world what I know, to be honest, and true to my understanding. My work being bought and now owned by a publishing company isn't necessarily the brass ring in authorship. Neither is the NYT bestseller list. I bring my written art to the world with abandon."

You are an author when...

When your writing is featured as a book, manuscript, article. They may also diversify and be speakers as well. Their entire focus is getting the material out to the world to create awareness about a topic that is important to them.

An author throws caution to the wind, becomes a maverick, a crusader for the understanding that they cannot leave this world without sharing their wisdom and insight. Even if their message falls on some deaf ears, they believe, if they can share one awareness with one person that helps create positive change then the effort was worth any struggle.

Two dangers an author may face is complacency and disbelief.

Complacency: Okay, I'm published, now what? I achieved my dream, is there anything else left? I don't know if I will be able to actually write anything worthwhile again. I've done it, I don't have to do anything anymore.

How to shift, "There are always more topics to explore and more insights to deliver. This world is unending in the sharing of knowledge and I get to be a part of that. I like that world and choose to stay in it. What new idea can I discover today?

Disbelief: I can't believe that my article was chosen. I wonder if they made a mistake, I should double-check. Does it really matter? I have my book in my hand, but will anyone really want to read it? I don't know what to do next, I don't want to push my book or article on people. I'm self-published, isn't that like cheating?

How to shift, "My work can make a difference for one person or one million people and it doesn't matter. I'm not in this for the fortune or fame, although it may follow and I am open to that. What my book or article offers is important and valuable and therefore I am never pushing my work onto others, I am gifting my experience so others may feel uplifted, connected, hopeful, or entertained."

Why the distinction matters