PDA

View Full Version : We are all Authors!



Akeyla
February 21st, 2007, 07:53 PM
There are a lot of Authors on this website, every day hundreds of posts are written and replied to in support of in opposition of an argument, thought, plotline, character development, setting, etc. All aspects found in a novel are found in everyday life.

There is a place on here to go and read others works, support each other. Commiserate with fellow authors and discuss all aspects of the written language.

So come have a look, read some poetry or short stories, vote in monthly contests, be a part of monthly contests and writting exercises. Get your work critiqued if you'd like, get advice and constructive comments about all aspects of Creative Writing and the every day writer.

We're only one click away for you to enjoy the works of other MWers and support them as well as receive support back.

Come have a look at the Poetry and Literature Forum (http://www.mysticwicks.com/forumdisplay.php?f=19)

Phoenix Blue
February 21st, 2007, 08:16 PM
There are a lot of Authors on this website, every day hundreds of posts are written and replied to in support of in opposition of an argument, thought, plotline, character development, setting, etc. All aspects found in a novel are found in everyday life.
I daresay there's a difference between being a writer and being an author. Being an author is about a lot more than just writing--in fact, writing's the easy part. Authors also get to deal with sending out manuscripts, query letters, working with agents and publishers, having editors hack at their work (I can say that as a newspaper editor :)), etc.

The link to Poetry and Literature is cool, but as a writer and the husband of a prospective author, I wanted to clarify the distinction.

Gracecat
February 22nd, 2007, 11:39 AM
I agree. Until you take that step in attempting to sale your work, become massively published etc, you are not an author.

Think of it as a professional division and amatuer division and published authors somewhere up in the PhD division ;)

Sequoia
February 22nd, 2007, 02:09 PM
I ditto as well!

There's a huge difference between writing something down and authoring a novel.

Shadow Angel
February 22nd, 2007, 02:40 PM
Agreed,


and there are many talented writers here on MW that I have seen.

Maybe one day we shall see their names 'up in lights' if they so choose it.

:cheers:

Darbla
February 22nd, 2007, 09:41 PM
Hmmm... well, if you look the two words up on dictionary.com:


writ·er ** **[rahy-ter] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1.
a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., esp. as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist. (note it does not say ONLY as an occupation)
2.
a clerk, scribe, or the like.
3.
a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc., to writing: an expert letter writer.
4.
(in a piece of writing) the author (used as a circumlocution for “I,” “me,” “my,” etc.): The writer wishes to state….
5.
a person who writes or is able to write: a writer in script.
6.
Stock Exchange. someone who sells options.
7.
Scot. a lawyer or solicitor.


au·thor ** **[aw-ther] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1.
a person who writes a novel, poem, essay, etc.; the composer of a literary work, as distinguished from a compiler, translator, editor, or copyist.
2.
the literary production or productions of a writer: to find a passage in an author.
3.
the maker of anything; creator; originator: the author of a new tax plan.
4.
Computers. the writer of a software program, esp. a hypertext or multimedia application.
–verb (used with object)
5.
to write; be the author of: He authored a history of the Civil War.
6.
to originate; create a design for: She authored a new system for teaching chemistry.


There's some overlap there anyway.

Darbla

Glory
February 22nd, 2007, 10:07 PM
I feel that 'author' alludes to having published works - whether by book, by magazine, by blog. 'Writer' alludes to the activity. There's a lot of overlapping, though.

For instance, I consider myself a writer, and I want to one day be an author.

Akeyla
February 25th, 2007, 01:12 AM
I'm sorry if I offended anyone. It wasnt' my intent at all or to diminish or demean the work of authors and writers.

I don't see a distinction. I have a full finished novel sitting beside me right now. Are you saying that I am not the Author of said book, then who is?

It's a very fine line and one that I don't think needed to be brought out in a way that is clearly saying that one is above the others. That's a bit 'high-handed' and derogative, In my opinion.

All I wanted in this thread was to invite members who may not know what the P&L forum was about and have some more interconnection and interaction between two forums that discuss similar topics.

Sorry if that could not be accomplished.

Thank You Darbla for posting the actual distinction which it clearly states, there is not one. There is between a 'Published Author, of course but otherwise. I don't see it and to say it implies to me an insult to my art and my craft, and my hard work into writing and 'authoring' my novels.

The published authors that I consider friends and aquaintances would never make that distinction or think that they were on a higher pedestal than any other writer/author out there.

Sorry to be so negative but that really pissed me off and I felt it was uncalled for and a little short sighted as well.

In my humble opinion.

Glory
February 25th, 2007, 03:25 AM
Well in my personal defense... I do not think my comment implied that being an author is somehow better than being a writer. I just meant there was a technical difference, not a difference in achievement and quality.

I genuinely do NOT think being published makes you better than someone who writes for themselves, not at all. I can list a variety of authors who are bad writers, for instance, and a variety of writers yet unpublished who have written amazing material.

I would extend my meaning to finished, unpublished works as well, I guess. I just wouldn't consider myself an author until I had something official to show, which I don't, yet. Do I count myself as lower than published "authors"? No. Do I think that just because someone is a published "author" mean they are better than me? Not at all.

But again! The meanings seriously overlap, ad Darbla demonstrated, and it's different for anyone. Just my definition, what comes to mind when I think 'writer vs. author'. I often like to cause waves in debates, but not this one, even if I wasn't the only one.

Shanti
February 25th, 2007, 04:13 AM
If I write down a little poem, created from my own mind, I am its author.
So I agree with the tone and invite of the OP.
It was a nice thing to say to so many that are the authors of their writings here. :)

WandererInGray
February 25th, 2007, 01:35 PM
Well I've been following this discussion and I thought I would weigh in. :)

In my own personal opinion:

Author = someone who is published, actively attempting to get published, or has made a career out of being a writer. ie. I am an author. or I want to be an author. More the noun usage of the word than anything.

Writer = someone who writes. This covers a wide range of things as a lot of people write, but not a lot of people are authors (by the definition above).

As it was pointed out, the dictionary definitions of writer vs. author have a great deal of overlap. What we're dealing with here more is the use of the words in social lexicon than in dictionary definition.

It's considered generally acceptable that if one claims the title of "author" that means they are either published, going to be published in short order, or actively trying (in the sense that what you call yourself you can make come true). Bear in mind that my opinions come from the social setting of a group of people who are actively attempting to become authors (and some are already published).

Distinction is usually made if you're going to swap terms to say "published author" to refer to those who have made it. We, as in those trying to get published, are authors, but not yet published.

Now this isn't to make it so that one is higher than the other. It's a matter of respect on the parts of those of us who are trying to become published. Because we understand the enormous amount of work that is required to become a published author (and I'm speaking of those who do the work, not the Brittany Spears, Shaq's, whomever of the world who get books deals because they're popular), it's not write something and you're done. There's far more behind it than that.

PB tends to call me an author. *smiles and shrugs* I tend to call myself a writer because while I am on the verge and trying as hard as I can, I don't feel like I can put myself on the same level of actual authors who have made it.

Darbla
February 25th, 2007, 11:20 PM
Here's another layer on this onion:

I am a COBOL programmer in the computer department at my place of employment. In COBOL, there is a statement you can include at the top of each program that says:
AUTHOR YOURNAMEGOESHERE.

In the case of my business of employment and many millions of others that use COBOL, these are programs that are not published but are used exclusively, non-profitably, within the organization (though some are sold too). Why do you suppose the original developer of COBOL chose to put AUTHOR there instead of WRITER or some other word?

Darbla

Phoenix Blue
February 26th, 2007, 09:16 PM
It's COBOL, for crying out loud. The week I spent learning that language's syntax was a traumatic experience from which I've still yet to recover.

Darbla
February 26th, 2007, 09:56 PM
Aaaawwww, poor widdle baby. :rubhead:

Phoenix Blue
February 26th, 2007, 10:58 PM
:wtf: Umm, thanks?

The Incense Dragon
February 28th, 2007, 10:25 AM
Let me throw an opinion out there on this topic.

My personal distinction between "writer" and "author" is completion. A writer is someone who has written something or who wants to write something.

An author is someone who has finished writing something.

LOL.

Lots of people ask me "how do I become an author" and I always tell them "write something". It's not enough to start a writing project, plan or outline a writing project, or dream about a project, you actually have to finish one.

I personally feel that anyone who has completed a writing project, be that a newspaper or magazine article, book, poem, or any kind of writing project, is indeed an author. You cross the threshhold once you write the last word of the project.

Being published isn't the issue in my mind, it's finishing the work that counts.

Just my 2 cents,

Carl

Gracecat
March 1st, 2007, 07:03 PM
By that definition every student that receives a high school diploma is an author. I agree with Wiggie's opinion. It's the person who wants to make a career out of writing, not necessarily for the money but for the personal accomplishment and recognition of other leading authors and publishing houses.

The Incense Dragon
March 1st, 2007, 07:30 PM
By that definition every student that receives a high school diploma is an author. I agree with Wiggie's opinion. It's the person who wants to make a career out of writing, not necessarily for the money but for the personal accomplishment and recognition of other leading authors and publishing houses.

That is absolutely correct - any student who completes a research paper or other writing project is the author of that project.

It's good to have a diversity of opinions - that's what make lists interesting. But I do think I bring a certain amount of experience to the table on this one and just do not agree with you.

Namaste,

Carl

Gracecat
March 2nd, 2007, 01:29 AM
Never said diversity is a bad thing and I didn't imply you weren't bringing an honest opinion to the table. ;)

You may be right about poetry and such but an author and a journalist is not the same thing. Journalism with the exception of editorials is not opinions, assumptions, or judgements. If it is, it's piss poor and incorrect journalism. The purpose of journalism is to present facts to the reading public for the express interest in current events. Authoring a piece of literature is much much much more than piecing together "A" visited "B" and said "C" before leaving for "D". The only thing a newspaper article (apologies to PB, I'm dumbing it down here) consists of is a witty knowledgable stitching of the situation the person is reporting on. That's writing, grammatically which is what high school and college English courses teach. And to that end, you can have damned good journalists because they're able to relate facts in a very attentive manner. But it's still not that person's concept or originality (strictly speaking).

But to get back on target, I don't think PB was looking for discussions on poets, researchers, or journalists. Technically speaking, going by the dictionary "author" is yes anybody who writes a literary work but I think it's more to do with social definitions rather than strict rigid Webster definitions ;)

Akeyla
March 2nd, 2007, 04:43 PM
First off, I didn't intend for this to become a debate about our personal associations with a chosen word or two. And it does come down to that in the end. We each have our own perspective and personal response to what the word Author vs. Writer entails, and none of us are wrong in this aspect.

I admit that maybe I took PB's original post a bit too personal and was a bit miffed at it, although I know that it wasn't intended in that way, he was just clarifying his own interpretation of a word. My apologies to you PB for getting upset about it and responding in a less than mature way.

Secondly, the original purpose of this thread was to invite members from this forum over to the P&L forum, nothing more.

So back to that, if you'd like to come have a look, read, comment or not, maybe even post if you'd like, that would be great.

I am also going to put in a thread encouraging members in the P&L forum to come over here as well, We tend to have a common interest in the written word whatever it's delivery is.

So once again, please come visit us over there and by all means feel free to continue the respectful debate about the word Author and what it means to you. It is an interesting topic.

Greybird
March 3rd, 2007, 11:18 AM
Personal definitions aside, an author is a person who produces a creative work. A writer is someone who writes. A writer is a type of author, nothing more, nothing less, just like composers, columnists, poets and technical writers are types of authors. If someone puts a piece of poetry I write on their website, they would credit me as Author:, not Writer:. The term people are looking for in this thread is published author.

~From a writer, an author, and a published author. ;)

Ceres
March 3rd, 2007, 12:57 PM
All semantics. Does it REALLY matter?

Gracecat
March 3rd, 2007, 03:22 PM
In the long run it doesn't, but what's wrong with discussion?

Ceres
March 3rd, 2007, 03:33 PM
Discussion just leads to more thought which will in turn lead to people having spontaneous original ideas and before you know it, they wont be happy being cogs in the mahcine anymore. For god's sake, dont rock the boat!

Actually, I thought people were getting really snarky about the whole debate and thought I might point out that lives dont stand in the balance. Perhaps my snarky-o-meter has gone wonky.

Glory
March 3rd, 2007, 07:19 PM
Er. Well I found the discussion really interesting. If someone doesn't like us rocking the boat... they can swim. ;)

Shadow Angel
March 3rd, 2007, 07:29 PM
I think people need to now step back and take a deep breath and maybe a break from this thread. It is becoming a little petty now.

All this said from SA a ''published' Author herself. Not that it actually matters to me who is who or what or why.

I would say that if we write a diary we are an Author. If we choose to publicise our works that is our choosing, but you are still an Author, paid or not.
Writer, Author, sorry but to me it is the same bloody thing.
Who cares what the damned words mean or dont mean. I believe the origional posters point was to say that 'we' are all Authors in the way that we are writing this forum,making it history, making it a part of now, building a group biography, within this community through comment or poetry or whatever.
It then becomes real and projected to the public. I agree, we are all Authors of sorts, every one of us here.
To what extent matters not to me, published, waiting to be published or otherwise.
Damn you lot are intolerable sometimes! LOL

~goes back to her coffee and her Eclipse~

Glory
March 3rd, 2007, 07:55 PM
Well I just like to see people's take and definitions on those words, as those words mean a lot to me. I already know my definitions, so I like to see how other's view them. And yes, the point of this post was NOT to start this debate, but it happened and the original poster already said that it was an interesting topic and we should feel free to continue it... so...

Eh. It doesn't really matter, in the long run.

Ceres
March 3rd, 2007, 08:15 PM
Sorry, I cant hear or see anyone over the clanging and flashing red lights of my snarky-o-meter :lol:

Glory
March 3rd, 2007, 08:25 PM
:wtf:

Gracecat
March 3rd, 2007, 08:35 PM
I agree with Glory, each person has their own personal definitions of what makes a person a writer, an author etc. Why do some call themselves a writer and some call themselves an author while referring to others as something different. It's about perceptions rather than semantics.

It's a shame we have to be chastened or called petty for a simple discussion.

Shadow Angel
March 3rd, 2007, 08:59 PM
To clarify. I quote {myself} It is becoming a little petty now.

In reference to the thread content.

I did however, accuse you all, in a light-hearted manner ,of being damned intolerable!

No need for personal comments or sarcasm, I was merely stating an opinion.

Rudas Starblaze
March 3rd, 2007, 09:04 PM
*picks up pen and paper, starts writting*

wow! i can do it! im gonna be a writhor! the first ever!!:spaceman:

Philosophia
March 3rd, 2007, 09:49 PM
I am a published author and also a writer. An author doesn't mean writing "novels" but it does mean that you need to be published.
This is my opinion only.

Gracecat
March 3rd, 2007, 10:51 PM
Ya know, we were all scooting along just fine discussing our own perceptions and opinions towards the social meanings and not strict dictionary meanings of words until others who really had nothing to add except to say isn't this conversation ridiculous for no reason what so ever.

I had forgotten why I stopped paying attention to this place. Thanks for reminding me.

Ceres
March 3rd, 2007, 11:43 PM
But pointing out it doesnt really matter what you call youself or how other people use those words WAS my take on the discussion. You say tomato and I say tomato....wait, that makes more sense out loud.

A bit of humorous banter was added to further point out that the discussion seemed more serious than the subject matter really warranted. I honestly didnt intend to offend and I really did try to contribute. Cant anyone laugh at themselves on this board anymore?

Glory
March 4th, 2007, 12:37 AM
Sure we can. It's just that it wasn't that serious to begin with. It was a debate, not an argument, we didn't need a buffer to break the tension. And when I tried to give my reasons for debating, you just talked about us being snarky. It was quite confusing.

But actually it doesn't matter, I just sort of flap my arms when someone decides to add to the debate by saying 'why are you debating this?' Because we want to. Because we find it interesting. If you see no point in it, you don't have to contribute!

Ah... this is such a silly conversation. :D

The Incense Dragon
March 5th, 2007, 10:55 AM
Never said diversity is a bad thing and I didn't imply you weren't bringing an honest opinion to the table. ;)

No, no, I didn't mean it that way. LOL. Just a general observation that diversity of opinion is a great thing. No offense taken and none given I hope.



You may be right about poetry and such but an author and a journalist is not the same thing. Journalism with the exception of editorials is not opinions, assumptions, or judgements. If it is, it's piss poor and incorrect journalism. The purpose of journalism is to present facts to the reading public for the express interest in current events. Authoring a piece of literature is much much much more than piecing together "A" visited "B" and said "C" before leaving for "D". The only thing a newspaper article (apologies to PB, I'm dumbing it down here) consists of is a witty knowledgable stitching of the situation the person is reporting on. That's writing, grammatically which is what high school and college English courses teach. And to that end, you can have damned good journalists because they're able to relate facts in a very attentive manner. But it's still not that person's concept or originality (strictly speaking).


I agree that authoring literature is different than journalism. I suppose "authorship" just depends on how finely you want to slice things.



But to get back on target, I don't think PB was looking for discussions on poets, researchers, or journalists. Technically speaking, going by the dictionary "author" is yes anybody who writes a literary work but I think it's more to do with social definitions rather than strict rigid Webster definitions ;)


If we were to go by dictionary definitions, then "writer" and "author" are virtually the same thing. Using social definitions then we come back to non-technical definitions which equal opinion. Mine is that those who complete a writing project are authors. But more to the spirit of the message that launched this thread, I feel that many on MW are indeed authors and that being published has nothing to do with that title. Therefore if you write a piece the is never published, you are still an author.

And I freely admit that "completion = author" is purely my own invention. I mostly use that as a tool to get people to finish their work before bemoaning the difficulties of publishing. Too many writers never become authors because they are convinced they can't be published and leave their works unfinished. Remember that some famous authors were not published until after their death (or at the least acheived no notice until then). If you leave your works unfinished nobody can do anything with them down the line.

Get out there are write!! We may not all be authors yet (although many, many are) but we all can be!

Authors of MW, unite...or something like that. :toofless:

-Carl

Phoenix Blue
March 5th, 2007, 11:34 AM
All semantics. Does it REALLY matter?
Evidently so, or people wouldn't take offense to being called a writer instead of an author.

Ceres
March 5th, 2007, 02:53 PM
Evidently so, or people wouldn't take offense to being called a writer instead of an author.

I supopose the discussion is really about why or why not people are offended by the wording. I guess cant really see any compelling argument either way. If someone showed a preference for being called one or the other, I would respect their wishes, but I still wouldnt know why it mattered. :nyah: