During my business career, I authored several technical documents, including formal memorandums, employee manuals, and real estate contracts. I have always written stories too, but the first time I had my fictive writing workshopped was in graduate school. From that point, I began to pursue a professional writing career.
When I was in undergrad, writing came quite naturally to me. I knew several students who struggled tremendously with this task, which is how I recognized this gift. As an English instructor, I help students hone their writing skills so getting my PhD is a full-circle experience that is a twenty years in the making. I would like to spend the rest of my career as a college professor who focuses on the writing acumen of undergraduates while simultaneously writing best-selling books for myself and ghostwriting for others.
I love bildungsroman stories (commonly referred to as coming-of-age novels). My favorite book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I have read this book five times, each time identifying with a new character. My daughter gifted me with a first edition print of the novel. I am still smiling about this gesture! Whenever I find an older rendition of this book, I can't help but purchase it. I have three vintage copies so far (though only ONE is a first edition print). My other favorites include The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, Jonah's Gourd Vine by Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison's Beloved, and The Land by Mildred D. Taylor.
There is a huge difference! An author is someone who originates an idea and then commissions it to be created. They are designers, initiators, and/or developers of ideas. A writer, on the other hand, is someone who simply writes. Their work could be performed on behalf of themselves, or they could be hired professionally to write for other entities such as newspapers (the news dictates their stories), periodicals/magazines, or a person/entity. Of course, an author can also be their own writer, but many times they will hire people (like me) to write for them because they have other things to create!
No. Ghostwriting is a paid service. Plagiarism is stealing someone's work without their permission and taking credit for yourself.
Writing is a highly technical skill that requires practice, clarity, and training. For example, you could technically represent yourself in a court of law. You could read all the legal books and statutes, gain an understanding, and legally go before a court of law and address a judge or jury. However, most people would not do that because attorneys are better trained to function in that role. You pay them for their service. Similarly, ghostwriting is a paid service for representation. Sometimes, the ghostwriter shares credit but oftentimes, that credit is transferred for a fee. Many of the nonfiction books you've read were ghostwritten! Since the dawning of publication, ghostwriting has been a viable profession.