This blog is about the various books I’m attempting to write, and the background behind them. So that makes me a writer, right? Not really. There are lots of definitions of what a writer is, from the very broadest (someone who writes) to much narrower ideas. I’ve never thought of myself as a writer. I’ve posted on writers’ forums and said unequivocally: I am not a writer. Yet, I do write – fiction, book reviews, blog posts. I write a lot, and I write in one of these categories almost every day.
Author is even worse. I would shudder if anyone described me as an author. No, not me, definitely not, maybe one day in the dim and distant future, but currently? No way. What I am is a dabbler. Oh, you want a definition of that? Here you go then.
A dabbler is someone who writes purely for personal pleasure, or for the enjoyment of others, but as an amateur, not a professional. Blogging without payment? Dabbling. Writing fiction without any thought of publication? Dabbling. Posting pieces for free on a blog or WattPad or similar? Dabbler? Giving away all completed works for free? Dabbler.
A writer is someone who has never had a full length work published and for sale, but is seriously working towards that point. He or she might have published shorter pieces here and there, and been paid for them, but not regularly.
An author is someone who has published at least one full length work which readers had to pay to get hold of. End of story.
Would I like to be an author? I don’t really know. I’m happy to be a dabbler, but I’m in that odd position where writing purely for my own amusement isn’t enough and I really want other people to get to know my characters. If that happens, and people like what I write, then maybe I’ll move up a step and look towards proper publication (self-publishing in my case). Then I could say: I’m a writer. And perhaps, way off in the distance, there might be a time when I actually publish something, and then I’ll be an author. Maybe.