I was interviewing a communications director for a publication last Thursday and she asked me: 'How would you describe yourself: a journalist or a writer?'
Weirdly I hadn't really considered the difference before, and we talked a little about the space between each term. For her, the journalist is the scribe who packages other people's thoughts, while the writer has freer rein to be creative and empiric in their thought. I don't actually think the distinction is as clear - I know a lot of journalists whose writing is original and innovative, while I know people who purport to be writers without an original thought in their head.
As for me? Well, it depends who's employing me and for what purpose. My toolbox is full of words and my badge of employment ranges from wordsmith to consultant depending on the nature of the job - I even take a few pictures along the way to balance the light and shade. In essence, I'm a gatherer of ideas and shaper of messages to create the outcome my clients want.....but that's an awful lot to put on a badge.
So, writer or journalist? A little bit of both and the space in between, I think.