A quick google of definitions shows us the following:
1.a writer of a book, article, or document.
"he is the author of several books on the subject"
writer, man/woman of letters, wordsmith; More
1.be the author of (a book or piece of writing).
"she has authored several articles on wildlife"
We are in the thorny ground of nouns and verbs. All I remember from school (it was in the 60’s and they were keen on creative expression, not so much on grammar) nouns are naming words and verbs are doing words. That doesn’t help me. They still seem to be pretty interchangeable.
Let’s look at the definition of Writer.
1.a a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories etc, especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist
2.a clerk, scribe, or the like.
3.a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc., to writing
an expert letter writer.
4.(in a piece of writing) the author (used as a circumlocution for “I,”“me,” “my,” etc.):The writer wishes to state….
5.a person who writes or is able to write: a writer in script.
6.Stock Exchange. someone who sells options.
7.Scot. a lawyer or solicitor.
I’m interested (in passing) in the historic derivation – the Scots ‘lawyer’ or ‘solicitor.’ Which breathes new life into Walter Scott as a writer. He was a writer and a writer. Or a writer and an author. What’s in a word eh?
While few of us writing published works today (although you will note that none of the definitions require publication as a condition of being a (noun) writer) are also lawyers (though we may be required to be editors/publishers/marketers and a variety of other non-writerly things in the course of our endeavours) we can still consider ourselves either/and/or authors and writers. So where on the scale do you fall – and why?
If you want to make up your own mind (and why wouldn’t you?) here are the links to some of the bodies which will take your money.
(I assume that they do check that they have been ‘sold’ rather than the strange version of ‘sold’ sometimes used by self-published writers who give their ebooks away and then claim them as ‘sales.’ The exchange of money is key to acceptance I assume!)
You can be a candidate member for a bit cheaper.
WGGB has a ‘points system’ for eligibility and you need 8 points to be a full member. You get 1 point for each self-published work, so it is possible to be a self-published author/writer and become a full member. Without (at least on the face of it) reaching the sales targets set by SOA.
If the word ‘author’ is important to you, maybe SOA or ALLI are your best port of call. If you’re happy to self-define as a ‘writer’ then WGGB might be more homely for you.
It is, of course, FREE to be a McRenegade. But then, we’re not offering you all the benefits of these organisations. We are not an ‘organisation’ at all of course. We’re a loose collective. A community of interest at a push. A bunch of radicals. We’ve been called less salubrious things but…
And remember – it costs nothing to call yourself a writer. Or an author. Or both. To ‘be’ a writer or an author does cost you something. Mostly time, energy and commitment. As well as the development of a creative relationship with yourself (and hopefully your readers)You do actually have to write to be a writer (or even an author).
Why not tell us what you think… add your voice to the debate and let’s see how, and why, people self-define their creative ‘scrievin’’ Because of course what with the announcement of a new Scots ‘Scriever Residency’ as part of the recently published Scots Language Policy
I haven’t read it yet (I will) but I always worry when I see cultural policy (or indeed social policy) being trumpeted abroad, because it rarely translates into practice without being somehow mangled in the process. But we live in hope, eh?
I’d encourage fellow McRenegades to ‘engage’ with the policy document and then we can have a future Culture Corner discussing it. If you have views, please email them to me kirstyeccles45@gmail. com and I’ll collate them into a post.
DOWNLOAD the policy doc pdf HERE
Kirsty Eccles (self-defines as a creative advocate)