What does an Author do?

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What is an Author?

An author is someone who loves to think creatively, loves language, and loves the art of writing. His or her focus is to produce well-crafted pieces of work for us to read and enjoy. An author will work closely with words and use the fundamentals of language to evoke our imagination, educate us, and hold our interest.

There are many different types of authors; novelists, poets, journalists, screenwriters, playwrights, copywriters, and so on. There are also many genres of writing; academic, creative, business, professional, and journalistic. For as many different types of books and published writings there are in the world, there are as many different types of authors that write them.

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What does an Author do?

Authors use their voice in the form of text to express ideas, thoughts, images and information. There are various types of writers and many paths to choose from. Here are just a few:

Story Writer -
is someone that is typically a freelancer and specializes in writing short fiction stories for a variety of magazines. Many well-known authors started out as story writers.

Author (or Novelist) -
is someone who writes long stories. Depending on the genre, a fiction book can have between 80,000 to 200,000 words, so this type of writer needs to be able to plan and execute his work. This requires dedication and patience.

Non-Fiction Writer -
is someone who writes in a specialized field. This may include technical writers and academic writers. They are able to take a large amount of information and break it down so it is readable text. This type of writing requires fact and research checking.

Journalist -
is someone who's writing is published in newspapers and magazines and read by thousands if not millions of people. This type of writer is typically a freelancer and is always working to a deadline. Quality of work is extremely important as is making a name for yourself, as this will help to earn a respectable income.

Article Writer -
is someone who writes a short piece, for example a food article or travel article. He or she will write for a variety of magazines, using crisp and concise language to make the article informative and fun to read. Having specialized knowledge is excellent, as article writers are always needed for medical, technical or commercial magazines.

Online Writer -
is someone who is typically a freelancer and writes articles or short stories for websites and blogs. The internet is a great way to provide amateur writers an outlet for their creative work, enabling them to learn and progress in their skill level as they climb upwards in their writing career.

Ghostwriter -
is an anonymous writer who writes books, articles, stories and other texts that are officially credited to another person. He or she needs to keep the voice consistent with that of the official “author.” This type of writing is challenging, as there is a lot of planning, communication, re-writing and patience needed in order to satisfy the client.

Copywriter -
is someone who writes good marketing text (or copy) in order to sell something. A good copywriter will get paid well, as good copy sells more products. The key to this type of writing is being able to garner the trust of the reader while evoking interest and enthusiasm in the product.

Business Writer -
is someone who generally writes for cutting-edge professional magazines and newspapers. Business magazines and newspapers need writers that have relevant business knowledge, excellent language skills and who are on the same, if not better level, than the reader.

Columnist -
is someone who writes for newspapers, magazines and newsletters. Some columnists are syndicated; their articles are seen in hundreds of newspapers, and a new article needs to be written every week.

How to become an Author

A university education is recommended for many of the writing fields. Any type of writing specialization needs a specialized degree. For example, if you'd like to write about business, a business degree would be helpful. In order to be a technical writer, a degree in engineering or computer science is generally needed. To be a copywriter, a bachelor of arts degree in journalism, english, liberal arts or communications would be preferable.

Authors have one main goal, and that is to produce a well-crafted body of work. This takes a lot of time and attention to detail. They need to have a very clear understanding of language and the mechanics of it, as well as an excellent understanding of grammar and punctuation. Strong computer skills are imperative, as a lot of research, typing and emailing is done on a daily basis. Professional writers and authors need to have a portfolio of work in order to demonstrate their talent and abilities to their potential employer.

What is the workplace of an Author like?

An author's workplace is typically any place that he/she is able to produce work. For some, that may mean a quiet desk with a computer, surrounded by books, encyclopedias, a dictionary and thesaurus. Some may find the gentle hum of conversation an easy writing background and find a coffee shop to be their place of work. The options are endless, as long as authors are able to find a comfortable place to be creative and productive.

Writers will sometimes be so tuned in to the creative moment, that they may forget to take care of their bodies. Sitting in a chair for a long period of time is hard on the back, therefore stretching, moving around, having something to eat and rehydrating are all things needed in order to refresh a writer's mind.

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