If you write or create art, you may have been called a variety of things throughout your career. What do you prefer to be called? Writer? Journalist? Blogger? Sometimes, one terms fits all — in many cases, you can be any of these things and still be considered a writer — and sometimes they don’t. For example, just because you are a content creator, doesn’t mean you’re a journalist.
It can be easy and even necessary to use these certain terms interchangeably, but if you want to be a tad more specific, here’s a brief explanation of the differences between a blogger, writer, author, journalist, and content creator to figure out which term works for you.
A blogger is someone who blogs, whether it be from their own blog or someone else’s. They’re contributing to a Web Log (where the word blog came from – nice, right?) of topics such as recipes, daily life, advice, fashion, etc., and writing in a conversational way. Think about Joanna of A Cup of Jo, or Cathy of Poor Little It Girl.
This is an all-encompassing term that houses people who create and publish original content to be consumed, mostly digitally. This can be through the form of blogging, photography, vlogging, and so much more. A lot of bloggers are also content creators on platforms outside of their blogs, whether it’s through their Instagram feed, podcast, or YouTube channel, such as Mattie James or Vicky Logan.
A writer is someone who writes. This is another all-encompassing term that houses people who are, well, writing. So many writers dabble in different forms of the written word. Think Ta-Nehisi Coates or Roxane Gay. They both are New York Times bestselling authors, have written essays, comic books, columns, and could fall into so many categories. They probably could use each of these terms to describe themselves, but the term “writer” comes up in both of their website bios.
There’s no such thing as an aspiring writer — you either are or aren’t writing something. The piece of writing your working on doesn’t even have to be published. For example, an aspiring romance novel writer, who has written a book that hasn’t been published yet, is still a writer.
An author is someone who has written, or co-written a book and has had it published, whether traditionally or through self-publishing. Think J.K. Rowling or Angie Thomas. While you can’t be an aspiring writer, you can be an aspiring author in any pre-publication stage.
A journalist is someone who writes and/or reports for newspapers, magazines, or news websites. Involved in this process could be fact-checking, interviewing, and more. Think Lauren Duca. A journalist can be a writer, but not all writers are journalists. Just because something is posted on a website doesn’t mean that it is a journalistic piece of work, so if you’re researching something, it’s best to check sources to make sure what you’re reading is accurate!
An essayist is someone who writes essays specifically, whether they are published in books, literary journals or websites. As I’ve stated before, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay are both essayists among many other things. Think also of bell hooks, and Marilynne Robinson (both of whom are also authors.)