Lisa McSherry dot com

The online home for Lisa McSherry, author and priestess

Author or Writer?

There is an odd thing that happens from time to time. I’ll be hanging out with someone and they’ll tell me about their journal, or a poem they wrote the other day, or about the piece they are writing and they’ll end with, “but it’s not like I’m a real writer.”

my office, “where the magic happens”

Darling, you ARE a real writer.

If you write, no matter how sporadically or without desire for an audience, whether for a blog, or poem, or novel, you ARE a writer. If no one else is doing so, I’m sorry, but let me be the one who validates you as a writer.


There. Validation accomplished.

But, you may ask, what makes me different from an author? And that takes us into slightly more tangled territory.

Some say that writers are not published, authors are. Others that the difference is that one writes about other people’s thoughts and ideas, the other comes up with the idea and content. Dean Wesley Smith (author of more than 200 novels [!!!]) says that “a writer is a person who writes, an author is a person who has written,” thereby placing the emphasis on the accomplishment rather than the process.

For me, a simple soul, the difference is just that an author publishes. I’m always a writer, and sometimes I’m also an author. Especially when I’m in public or engaged in promotion.

Author or Writer?

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