Authors, Writers and Wannabes (Who Are Also Douchebags)

Hi, I'm Joe Peacock. I've had a book published by a major publisher, and before that I self-published a book. And before that, I wrote short stories and blog posts on the internet. And before that, I kept journals.

So, I guess I'm qualified to talk about the differences between Authors, Writers, Working Writers and Wannabes (AKA: Douchebags). And if I'm not... Who's going to stop me? It's not like anyone else has the login to my server [I disagree. -Jeremy]. So fuck it.
Authors: have constructed a body of work (book, article, paper) and published it. Self-published or through a publishing house, either way. Not necessarily a working writer, and not necessarily concerned with the art and craft of the written word. Mathematicians can be authors. So can painters.

Writers: The short version: Writers write. They're never not writing. They are students of the written word; always looking for new ways to express ideas through the act of writing. They keep journals, or they blog, or they write articles or they write novels... It can't be stopped. The words pour out. And Writers don't necessarily have to be read to be Writers. In fact, Writers may or may not want to be read, but they MUST write.

Working Writers (AKA: Those who have the right to, when asked "What do you do?", answer "I'm a writer"): Take the above definition of Writer. Add the fact that this person received a check for an amount of money for a piece of writing, deposited it or cashed it at the bank, and the check cleared. You have a Working Writer. Now, Authors may have done the same thing - but remember that Authors aren't really students of writing, they just compose works which include written words. Writers are not necessarily Authors. Authors aren't necessarily Writers. But a Working Writer is an Author. Make sense? No? Too bad, I'm kinda bored with this point, because I now want to talk about:

Wannabes (AKA: Douchebags): Blah. Blah blah blah blah. This is what you hear out of the mouth of a Wannabe - first they disparage the unfair bias of The Industry because they can't get published and are too lazy (or weak) to self-publish. Then, they won't shut the fuck up about their work... Regardless of whatever else you may have been talking about beforehand. They mention their "short fiction" while giving directions to the interstate. They bring up their book during discussions on the weather (usually on Dark and Stormy Nights). They've participated in and failed to finish NaNoWriMo, usually only once, and usually a few years ago, but it STILL HURTS. They go on and on about how tedious and tiring and laborious the job of writing is, forgetting that every job on Earth can (and probably should) be that if it's worth doing - but unlike actual Writers, they can't see past that stuff to realize the good parts, because they're too busy focusing on the lifestyle of the tortured artist.

Now, the point of all of this isn't just to vent (okay, maybe that's part of it, but not the whole point). It's to illustrate for you and everyone else that, if you've found yourself walking through a Starbucks with a pencil behind your ear mentioning your book or writing to strangers - WITHOUT BEING ASKED - in the hopes that maybe they'll be interested in hearing your ego-feeding tale of artistry and pain... You might want to try shutting up, sitting down, and writing it out.

It may or may not result in your becoming an Author or Working Writer, but at the very least, it'll keep me from crushing a cup of hot coffee out of frustration, burning my hand and wrist and wasting two dollars and ten cents... You fucking douchebag.