W is for writer

WWelcome 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.

Here’s Joanne.

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.

Guidoccio 001Bio:

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.


Website:   http://joanneguidoccio.com/
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanneguidoccio
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio
Pinterest:   http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Between-Land-Sea-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B00F9U5Q50

Cindy here again.

Interesting thoughts on the writer versus author question.

Keep writing.


  • Joanne Guidoccio
    April 27, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Hi Cindy, Thanks for hosting me 🙂

  • Ashantay Peters
    April 27, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Joanne, I enjoyed your blog post. I refer to myself as either a writer or author, depending upon my audience. The title that escapes when I’m not thinking about it is writer. I guess I’m more comfortable seeing myself as a craftsperson than a branded professional!

    • Joanne Guidoccio
      April 27, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Hi Ashantay,

      “Writer” has been my default position for a while. But I do like the sound of “author” and I’m starting to use it more often.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Joanne 🙂

  • Jo Richardson
    April 27, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Great post Joanne! I love the way he differentiates the two, and although I see them both as the same breed, I have always referred to myself as a writer.

    • Joanne Guidoccio
      April 27, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Hi Jo, It is easier to use writer. And in many ways, we do fit Smith’s criteria. We don’t sit still. We write the next book while promoting the previous one.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Joanne 🙂

  • Ryan Jo Summers
    April 27, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Great post, Joanne. I too sometimes struggle with which name to apply, though I now tend to lean toward ‘author’ status. I also will split the fence and say I am an author of novels and short stories, and a writer of free lance articles and poems. Either name or either way, we should all be promoters of current work and workers of new work. Thank you for listing both.

    • Joanne Guidoccio
      April 27, 2015 at 9:31 am

      Hi Ryan,

      An interesting distinction between writer and author! Short pieces => writer; Long pieces => author. I think that’s what most newspapers and magazines use as their criteria.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Joanne 🙂

  • Madeline
    April 27, 2015 at 9:31 am

    We need a modern ‘boy band’ to come up with a replacement for “I want to be a paperback writer,” … although finding something to rhyme with e-book may be a challenge.

    Very best of luck. I’m enjoying observing your journey.

  • Sandra Dailey
    April 27, 2015 at 11:42 am

    My family and friends call me an author. I refer to myself as a writer. I think of myself as a story teller.

  • Joanne Guidoccio
    April 27, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Sandra, Another title! One that I think fits most of us.

    Thanks for dropping by.

    Joanne 🙂

  • Angelina (Barbin) Jameson
    April 27, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    It is nice to know others have wondered how to label themselves. I kind of go back and forth. Depends how confident I feel that day. 🙂

  • Vicki Batman
    April 27, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Hi, Joanne! I thought “author” sounded too stuffy, so un-me. So I used “Writer.” I like “actively writing.”

    • Joanne Guidoccio
      April 27, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Vicki, I agree that “actively writing” sounds more interesting and invites interaction. Friends and family want to know more about the WIP.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Joanne 🙂

  • Erin Bevan
    April 27, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Hi Joanne! I think-even though my business card says “Author”, I’m a writer. Now, a good one or not, I’ll let you be the judge of that, but I am always thinking, working, plotting my next story. But, honestly, my goal is to be an author. An author people actually know! 🙂 Great post!

    • Joanne Guidoccio
      April 27, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Erin, In my younger years, I associated “Author” with the greats – Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, George Eliot, Jane Austen…I realize now that fame has little to do with whatever title we choose. It’s how we feel about ourselves and our writing journeys.

      Thanks for dropping by, Erin.

      Joanne 🙂

  • Marlow
    April 27, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Hi Joanne,
    Congratulations on being an author.
    Personally, I can’t think of myself as an author yet. I’m still learning and trying to master this writing thing I’m hooked on.

  • Peggy Jaeger
    April 27, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Joanne – you are much more than a writer or an author – you are an innovator and an inspiration as well. I love your Second Acts blog and how you’ve given a voice to writers/authors who are at turning points in their lives. Excellent piece today.

    • Joanne Guidoccio
      April 27, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      Hi Peggy,

      Thank you for the lovely compliments. I’m honored and inspired by the amazing women(including you) whom I have featured in the Second Acts series. I love rereading their stories.

      Thanks for all your support.


  • Gay Yellen
    April 28, 2015 at 12:09 am

    I struggled with the writer/author debate in my mind, too. I’ve written all kinds of works, many of them published, for most of my life, but only when my first solo novel was published did I feel OK with “Author.” Thanks for sharing your journey, Joanne.

  • Susan B James
    April 28, 2015 at 2:02 am

    Interesting definition. I think right now I am a writer by Dean’s definition..
    Congratulations, Joanne. I look forward to reading the other two books.

    • Joanne Guidoccio
      April 28, 2015 at 8:52 am

      Hi Susan, I’m amazed by the variety of interpretations this post has generated. Two words can evoke so many different emotions.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Joanne 🙂

  • Roz Murphy
    April 28, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Hi, Joanne–Very thought-provoking article. Thanks for sharing your insights. Roz (Ellen Hegarty)

  • Beth Carter
    April 28, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    FANTASTIC article and comparisons, Joanne. I loved this and will share it. I embrace the “if you’ve received a letter from an editor and they want to publish your work and you do so with all the blood, sweat, and tears from the editing process, squeal with delight after seeing your cover, and so on,” then you are an AUTHOR. If you dabble or never quite finish that novel/novella/short story, you’re a writer. Marketing is very important but so is writing the next book and the next. I couldn’t agree more.

    • Joanne Guidoccio
      April 28, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Hi Beth, Love that “blood, sweat and tears” quotation. It certainly applies to you and the other authors on the SMP and TWRP loops.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Joanne 🙂

  • Beth Carter
    April 28, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    And I was published in four anthologies and three six-word memoir collections previously but never considered myself an “author” until my novel was accepted and published.

  • Mary Gillgannon
    April 29, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I published my first novel over twenty years ago, so I definitely think of myself as an author. But I’d happily be a writer instead if it meant I didn’t have to do promotion! Unfortunately, these days everyone has to be both. Thanks for a new look at the terms!

  • Joanne Guidoccio
    April 29, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Hi Mary, Isn’t that the truth! I would love to just write and let someone else take care of promotion. Someday…

    Thanks for dropping by.

    Joanne 🙂

Follow Us!

Subscribe via RSS


This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.