Welcome back to the blog! We’re in the home stretch for the A to Z Challenge. Today I have Joanne Guidoccio talking about being a writer.
W is For Writer Or…
Fellow GWIN member Lisa Ivaldi asked, “Do you want me to add Writer or Author to your profile?
My heart beat faster as I considered the implications of both titles.
According to the dictionary, a writer “expresses ideas in writing” or “is engaged in literary work” while an author is an “originator or creator of written work.”
The definitions appear similar, but there is a definite difference, one clearly articulated by many English teachers: “You become an author when your books are published, but if your writings never publish, you remain a writer.”
Best-selling author Dean Wesley Smith has a different take on it.
He strongly believes that “a writer is a person who writes; an author is a person who has written.” According to Smith, writers focus on the process of writing and as soon as they publish one book they’re onto the next. On the other hand, authors devote their energies to promoting their book instead of writing the next one.
Having written more than 100 novels and 200 short stories, it is no surprise that Smith considers himself a writer. And his final advice is sound: “Authors are missing the best promotion tool there is for their old books. Their next book.”
While I agree with Smith’s advice, I tend to gravitate toward the more traditional definition of an author. The word has a more professional ring to it, declaring a writer is finally taking her craft seriously.
A fact that wasn’t so apparent when I first launched my second act as a writer.
For three years, I dabbled. Travel writing. Business articles. Blogging, Poetry. Cozy mysteries. Angel stories. Memoirs. Fantasy. Depending on which online course or workshop I attended, I immediately embraced the new genre and tried my hand at it.
I met with modest success and enjoyed seeing my articles, book reviews and short stories appear in newspapers, magazines and online. Interestingly enough, most editors included the following short bio: “Joanne Guidoccio is a Guelph writer.”
But with three novels—Between Land and Sea, A Season for Killing Blondes, The Coming of Arabella— completed and contracted, I feel confident and ready to call myself an Author.
In high school, Joanne dabbled in poetry, but it would be over three decades before she entertained the idea of writing as a career. She listened to her practical Italian side and earned degrees in mathematics and education. She experienced many fulfilling moments as she watched her students develop an appreciation (and sometimes, love) of mathematics. Later, she obtained a post-graduate diploma as a career development practitioner and put that skill set to use in the co-operative education classroom. She welcomed this opportunity to help her students experience personal growth and acquire career direction through their placements.
In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
Cindy here again.
Interesting thoughts on the writer versus author question.