I like to say I am a writer. It sounds better to my ear than author, in part because I associate the word author with writers who wrote books and appeared on talk shows when I was growing up. Writers were always introduced as ” the author of . . .” and they tended to be famous like Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, John Updike, Phillip Roth, all of whom were of literary authorship. Irving Wallace, Sidney Sheldon, Jacqueline Susann, and Harold Robbins were of the pop culture authorship. But all were writers.
The American heritage dictionary says an author is the writer of a literary work. Notice the word ‘literary’ that rightly or wrongly I associate with the highfalutin writer since ‘literary’ refers to literature and I studied literature in college, not pop culture writing. That does not mean I did not read Robbins, Sheldon, Wallace, or more importantly Ian Fleming. But they too were authors because the second definition under author in the dictionary is “one who writes for a living.” The same definition is found under writer.
Author is a more broad term. You often hear in sports show that some pitcher “authored a no-hitter.” You can not write a no-hitter, but you can author one. That is because the next definition in the dictionary says that an author “is one who creates or originates something.”
So an author can not only be a literate writer, but some one ”who creates something.” In this definition there is no hint of quality, so an author could also be a hack since he originated something. Now I feel better about being an author for I no longer feel the pressure of being literary.
On the other hand the dictionary defines writer as one who writes. Since I write two blogs and have two e-novels and one collection of e-short stories I am a writer.
Okay I am confused.
Let me say that I am the author of writings that may or may not be literary, depending if you like offbeat works or not.
Maybe you can decide for me. http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38