When I wrote Freshdesk Alternative to WordPress Comments I focussed on the differences between WordPress Comments and their Freshdesk alternative. With little reference to the real value of both – “allows me to discuss ideas with readers”.

As a writer, I get many benefits from reader interaction…

  • Proofreading and corrections.
  • Reader language. So I can adopt terms that readers commonly use.
  • Associated content. Usually additional explanations to clarify questions.
  • New ideas.

So it’s interesting for me to think of Freshdesk as another writing tool. Even more interesting is how this fits with a recent concern. Am I a Writer or an Author?

Writer, Author, or Potboiler?

With my synonym obsession I found I might actually be something else – a potboiler. Though it’s often meant as a derogatory term, I can live with that:

Potboiler draws its meaning from what was once the heartbeat of the home, the hearth and its boiling pot. In the days before modern conveniences, it was essential to maintain a fire within a home’s hearth for warmth and domestic activities. In order “to make the pot boil” or “to keep the pot boiling” for cooking, one needed fuel, and to acquire fuel one typically needed an income. When artistic and literary works, especially inferior ones, became the means of keeping the pot boiling in some homes during the 19th century, it didn’t take long for the literati to criticize such works as insignificant potboilers.[1]

Anyway, a potboiler is still a writer. Also, I find Dean Wesley Smith’s distinction very helpful…

So maybe a better way to define Author and Writer these indie publishing days is this:

— A Writer is a person who writes the next story.

— An Author is a person who spends their time promoting their last story.

Yet maybe yet another way of looking at these two diverse camps is this:

— A Writer gets feedback from the simple act of writing and finishing stories.

— An Author must get feedback from external sources such as reviews, sales, promotions, editors, workshops, and so on.[2]

Writing Reading Responses

I definitely relate to the writer definition. Though I find I spend too much time on activities that define me as an Internet Author. So I hope I can change that by focussing mostly on writing. Then let the stories speak for themselves.

Also, I incorporate feedback directly into my writing. So there is no “external process”. Then responding to feedback just becomes more writing for me. But I must stop referring to authoring tools when I actually mean writing tools.

Story Ideas References

  1. “Potboiler.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potboiler. Accessed 26 Apr. 2020.
  2. “The New World of Publishing: Writer vs. Author.” Dean Wesley Smith, https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-new-world-of-publishing-writer-vs-author/. Accessed 26 Apr. 2020.

Posted by Keith Taylor

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