Every author is a writer, but not every writer is an author. Kind of like the every vegetable is a fruit, but not every fruit is a vegetable thing. So what's the difference? When does a writer become an author?
Simply put, a writer is, well, one who writes. Rocket science-I know! Writers' work can vary from freelance magazine and newspaper articles to copywriting for websites and corporate marketing. A writer typically writes for a living, often freelance, or on the payroll of a company large enough to have its own copywriting or journalistic department.
An author, however, is a special breed of writer. Don't get me wrong, all writers are special! But authors see a larger vision. They see the world through the pages of books. Nonfiction, self-help, novels, children's, fairy tales-you name it; they see it in book form. Authors don't usually think in terms of "articles." In fact, many authors I have met with consider writing articles to be difficult and a totally new concept.
Authors often think so big, they fail to think small enough to overcome writer's block, which could be why authors tend to be struck with that dreaded ailment so often. If you are an author, I encourage you to keep your large vision in mind (the book-the goal) but think small enough to get that next sentence down on the page. Even if you have to take baby steps once in a while, that's better than no steps at all. Eventually those baby steps will turn into a flat out dead run.
And for all you writers (non-authors), don't dismiss your talents to being too small to ever fit into book form. A short story can be the synopsis of a best-selling novel. A collection of articles can become the Table of Contents for a how-to book. If you dream of writing a book one day, start calling yourself an "author" instead of simply a "writer." And if you don't dream of writing a book, keep doing what you do best-helping to change the world, one word at a time.
This article is Copyright 2009 by Kristen Eckstein. Reprint rights allowed with a credit statement reflecting the text in the Resource Box.