A writer is anyone who creates a written work, although the word usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, as well as those who have written in many different forms. The word is almost synonymous with author, although somebody who writes, for example, a laundry list, could technically be called the writer of the list, but not an author. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images, whether fiction or non-fiction.
A writer may compose in many different forms including (but certainly not limited to) poetry, prose, or music. Accordingly, a writer in specialist mode may rank as a poet, novelist, composer, lyricist, playwright, mythographer, journalist, film scriptwriter, etc. (See also: creative writing, technical writing and academic papers.)
Writers' output frequently contributes to the cultural content of a society, and that society may value its writerly corpus -- or literature -- as an art much like the visual arts (see: painting, sculpture, photography), music, craft and performance art (see: drama, theatre, opera, musical).
In several instances, writers are also referred as wordsmiths because of their ability to compose words.
The popularity of the Internet opened the door of opportunity to many established and aspiring writers alike. The new medium created concerns over writing quality in the Internet age. Writers’ advocates believe the Internet has led to a lower level of writing standards. While new modes of communication through the Internet are constantly advancing and changing, the issue of writing quality questions the very definition of writing in the Internet age.
Whether writers are devoted to the craft or not, they are expected to be able to write well both offline as well as online, or at least recognize the difference between the two. When writing for the Web, it is the content that matters. “Writing for the Web is very different from writing for print. Print today remains superior to the Web when it comes to visible space, image and type quality, and speed.” Web visitors are quickly scrolling through sites seeking specific information and will not always take the time to read every word. Traditional writing techniques and standards are less of a priority, as multiple headings, bullets and lists are needed to aid scanning readers. Although reputable writers compose much of this writing, the quality can appear less than professional. Also, with the increase of tech people writing for the Web, the rules of grammar need to be put into effect.
Writers not writing for a living often find enjoyment and small payouts from Web sites seeking material to raise their sites higher in the search engine rankings. Although this is a legitimate philosophy, the writing being published on the Web can often be less than professional. This lack of professionalism distorts the line between qualified and amateur writers. Writing standards are often not the highest priority as Web sites seek to drive traffic to gain advertising exposure. It seems as if readers are not as concerned about the writing quality, as long as they find a relevant account on a particular topic.