Is there a difference between an author and a writer? My name is on the front of a couple of books. But, am I a writer? Not by my own definition. You become an author when you write a book and it is published. You become a writer by writing every day as a full time profession. Writers are writing newspaper columns, articles for magazines, scripts, commercials, movie and restaurant reviews, blogs. To be a writer one needs a command of the language, self-discipline, and the ability to meet deadlines, either assigned or self-imposed.
Writing this blog is part of my plan to become a good writer. I have set the goal of writing five or six original 300-400 word pieces each week. My tools are my computer; my books on composition, grammar and style; my thesaurus, my memory, my imagination, my self-discipline. One rule I follow is, write then re-write, check, double-check, re-write, then re-write, check, correct, and re-write again. I try to think of the reader as I write. What images do my words conjure up? Who might want to read this? To write well, you must constantly “clean up as you go.” Scrutinize the punctuation, the sentence structure, eliminate unnecessary words. Writing is a craft as much as is wood carving or sculpturing. You are creating images – with words.
If you’ve read clear down to here, chances are you have some interest in writing. If so, I strongly recommend three books. 1) Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style.” 2) “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” by Lynne Truss. 3) “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser. Reading and referencing these books can help anyone become a better writer. Blogging is a great outlet for any aspiring writer. Programs such as WordPress make it easy to conquer the mechanics of blogging. Social media makes it easy to publicize. Good writing makes for good reading. I consider it a compliment that you made it all the way through this.