Let's face it: social media can be a blessing and a curse. There are millions of people on social media who have an opinion about everything. One of those is the job title of those who write.
There are a lot (and I mean a LOT) of people who mistakenly believe that those who are published authors are not true authors, only mere writers.
The toxic misconceptions I have found are:
-that self-published authors are not really writers because they only write as and when they feel like it, whereas published authors write every day. There may be several reasons for this, the main one being self-published authors have second or third jobs as well as writing and a family to manage, therefore they have a limited time to actually fit the writing in.
Another toxic ideal is that if you're not getting up at four in the morning to write before the rest of the house is awake and before you prep the kids their lunch, clean the house, go to work and remember there is enough oxygen left for you, you are not considered a real writer. Lots of writers I know spend every chance they can writing, but others are simply not able to due to time restraints; in a society where mental wellness is fast becoming centric to our nature, kindness is key. If you write, you are a writer. If you have created something in written form, whether it is a screenplay, poem, song or story - you are an author and a writer.
I have seen that some published authors perceive self-published authors as lacking in consistency, focus and having no understanding of having a platform. All of this, in my opinion, is completely untrue. There are hundreds of self-published authors who have a large platform, who have also chosen the genre they write in as well, are extremely focused on their goal of becoming a self-made author. Those who want to become a published author are often struggling for years to get their manuscript noticed by a publisher. Unfortunately, there are some publishing houses that have published some awful books - both poorly written or offensive - or both. From what I can see, the only reason they got published was that they would sell and make them money, rather than because they are well written.
This leads into another myth about self-published books. I have read a lot and most are beautiful stories that are of better quality than published ones. Just because a book is published through a company doesn't mean it is a quality piece of work, and the list of banned books is quite significant; some have been banned in the UK for inciting criminal acts.
As a night owl (yes, that really is a thing according to psychology), I struggle with early mornings...so when I see other authors perpetuating the view that you must write in the morning or else you're not a writer, it makes me laugh at the sheer arrogance and ridiculousness of the statement. Not everyone has the time or the ability to write after dark, or as the sun rises. Some people have disabilities, or a family, or work or...I could go on, but what's the point?
The definition of an author is: author /ˈɔːθə/ noun
a writer of a book, article, or document. "he is the author of several books on the subject" Similar: writer, man/woman of letters, wordsmith, novelist, dramatist, playwright, screenwriter, scriptwriter, poet, essayist, biographer, journalist, columnist, reporter, correspondent, librettist, lyricist, songwriter, littérateur, penman, penwoman, scribe, scribbler, pen-pusher
be the author of (a book or piece of writing). "she has authored several articles on wildlife"
(Source: Oxford Languages)