Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

6/6/09

Author and Poet? Defining Each.

My friend Justice Carmon plugged this blog in a recent post. (How Christian Are Superheroes, Really?). I certainly appreciate that. He called me an author and a poet. I wondered. Am I each? Either?

My poetry has been published by Decision, a major religious magazine maybe 10 times. They paid for it, and came back for more, assigning me projects. So I am a poet. I'll accept that. It is a long way from where I want to be, but it is still something I am proud of.

Am I an author? Depends who you ask. Justice may not have dwelt on the term a long time, and, given the question, he may think similarly as I do. Then again, by the technical definition, the one you'll find in a dictionary, he's right the first time.

Me? No, I don't think so. I am, not an author. However, Wikipedia allows for the possibility.


An author is defined both as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. The second entry goes on to clarify that, when using the term author, the "anything" which is created is most usually associated with written work.

I write. There's no question in my mind I am a writer. Not just poetry, but several blogs. I write for a living as well. Sometimes, when I write, it gets edited so much that it is hard to point to something and say, "I wrote that," but behind me are hundreds of pieces from speeches, articles, web content, brochures, newsletters, and even a radio commercial script or two. You already know about the poetry. I don't need to own every single word to know what I do. Besides, a good editor makes my writing better, and that's a good thing.

I have always associated being an author as being the writer of books. I have much of a chapter with my name it in two books (same content, similar books), but so far, no book.

Am I an author, again? No, not accordingly to my own definition, and, not according to the second definition.

There's a deeper thing about authoring. Wikipedia says it a person who gives existence to something. This I cannot do. Neither can you. This job is taken by He Who Can.
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