With the author vs. writer debate breaking out in all its impassioned glory on LinkedIn lately, I thought I would impede everyone else’s writing career with some really bad advice on the subject.
1. Writing involves sitting in your room alone with only your characters and the occasional gnawing sense of doom for companionship. How much fun is that?
Being an auteur, on the other hand, involves people strewing your path with rose petals which you don’t actually get to admire because people are falling at your feet, totally interfering with your rose petal experience. (And no, I don't mean auteur the way Truffaut used it in expounding his theory of directing films; I'm just being pretentious. French is so good for that.)
2. Writing involves taking in critiques, edits, notes, copyedits, and people who point out they don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
Auteurship involves foot massages.
3. Writing involves having deadlines and roots your don’t actually have time to go get colored because you’re chained to your laptop.
Auteurship involves shopping for smashing yet artsy outfits made of silk spun by special magic silk worms to wear to your next auteurish event. (n.b. Auteurs have naturally good hair, and don’t have to worry about their roots.)
4. Writing involves a shitload of coffee.
Auteurship involves champagne, mostly on the Queen Mary, in the 1920’s, with a lot of witty repartee and bugle beads.
5. Writing requires, well, writing.
Auteurship involves status.
6. Writing is real. Actual stuff has to go onto an actual page. Then it has to be made good. And it might still not be good enough. How stultifying (and also hard) and potentially gut-wrenching. Who wants a wrenched gut?
Auteurship, on the other hand, is largely imaginary. Except for the foot massages, which you can actually go get any time you want to, except that it will take time away from your looming deadline.