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The Difference Between An Author and A Writer

Updated: May 14

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

Writer vs. Author

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 besides themselves 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 their own 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 challenges 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...

Your writing is featured as a book, manuscript, or 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

This distinction matters because no matter if you are a writer or an author you have concerns or worries. It's all perfectly natural. Often when we look to the outside world to help our fears are amplified by other people's fears. Those who gave up never started, or are cynical about the publishing process sometimes give disheartening advice. I am here to tell you as a publisher you have the ability to excel in this writing and authorship world. Never let anyone hold you back. Ever!

I am in the business of helping people get published in co-authored books that make a difference. Our books could have 20-200 featured authors and it is my mission to help your message get to the world, to help thousands or more. As a community of authors, we stand by one another, in-kind loving support of each other as a positive influence in a sometimes cynical industry. Join and collaborate with us, we have a great opportunity to write for one of our books right now.

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