We often use the words author and writer interchangeably, but these words are quite different. A writer writes a book, article, or literary piece, while an author is the person who originates the idea, plot, or content of the work being written. At times, the author and writer can be the same person. In case of an autobiography, a person writes about the own life. So the author is expressing his own thoughts and ideas. But in cases like biographies, the writer is not the author. The ideas of thoughts of another are being written.
Though the difference may be small, depending on the situation, it can be more. If you are writing a novel or short story based on a plot developed by self, you get to be known as the author of the novel. And if you are penning down someone else’s ideas or stories, you will be known as the writer of the work. Being a writer is sometimes easier than being an author. An author has to create, develop, and communicate an idea, while a writer has to only communicate somebody else’s idea. An author may be excused if the writing skills are not that competent. But a writer must have exceptional writing skills to be dominant in the field. Writing skills include the command over the language and the expressiveness with the play of words. These skills can be obtained through constant writing and may be an inborn talent in some. Only a skilled writer is capable of portraying ideas, events, and pictures through the mere use of words.
When it comes to writing books, a person becomes an author only when the book is published. If your work is unpublished, and even if the idea is purely your own, you will still be considered as the person who wrote the work. And when your work is published you get to be known as the author of the work. So if you write a lot, but never get them published and out to the public, you remain a writer. An author can get the work copyrighted under copyright laws ensuring that nobody else steals or uses the original idea. Only the author is always associated with that particular idea or work. To be an author one must have the capability to think and express thoughts. A write must understand and convey an idea correctly to the readers.