David Scott Brown

Writer or Author?

Sep
14

I’m exploring the difference between the terms “writer” and “author”. I read several definitions and articles on the subject. It would be easy to consider the two words as synonyms. But it’s also possible to make distinctions. The word author comes from the Latin “auctor”. The verb is “augere”, which means to originate something. Some believe that authors are the ones who originate ideas, while writers provide a service.

When I say that “I have wanted to be a writer since I was nine years old,” do I mean that I have always wanted to provide a writing service to others? Or am I thinking of originating and developing ideas? Actually I enjoy the craft of writing. That could be an assignment that someone gives me or an idea that comes from my own brain.

Yes, I’d like to write other things besides science and technology articles. Hemingway abandoned journalism to write novels. But perhaps this is a necessary step in developing my craft. Or at least putting money in my pocket.