“A lot of people do have a book in them — that is, they have had an experience that other people might want to read about. But this is not the same thing as ‘being a writer.’”

– Margaret Atwood, Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing 


Ever wondered about the distinction between being a “writer” and being an “author?” Here’s the difference: Authors create ideas; writers create content. Or, to put it a slightly different way, a book starts within an author, and it is the writer who immortalizes the ideas in print.

Everyone can be an author. Not everyone has the time, discipline or expertise to be a writer.

And that’s okay. We are all given a unique set of strengths and weaknesses and are talented in different ways. While some may have the gifts to put their story or knowledge into print themselves, others may need a little help achieving that.

This is where ghostwriting and collaboration come into play.

Collaboration and ghostwriting are common practice with nonfiction business books, celebrity tell-alls and political autobiographies. People who don’t normally have the time or ability to write a book themselves will tell their story to a writer who will turn it into a book.

Here’s the upshot: You don’t have to be a naturally gifted writer to publish your story and share it with millions. Sometimes the key is as simple as collaboration or working with a ghostwriter.


About the author

Rachel Rachel Brownlow is founder and CEO of Your Written Word LLC, a ghostwriting company that helps successful and aspiring business leaders take their ideas from conception to publication. She has written, edited, proofread, consulted and/or created publishing proposals for more than a dozen nonfiction books. She also contributes to a variety of magazines and publications, including the Austin Business Journal, Austin Monthly, NSIDE Magazine and Georgetown View Magazine. You can find more of her work at rachelbrownlow.com/portfolio.