A writer is a person who uses written words to communicate ideas. Writers produce various forms of literary art and creative writing such as novels, short stories, poetry, plays, news articles, screenplays, or essays. Skilled writers are able to use language to express ideas and their work contributes significantly to the cultural content of a society. The word is also used elsewhere in the arts – such as songwriter – but as a standalone term, "writer" normally refers to the creation of written language.
Writers can produce material across a number of genres, fictional or non-fictional. Other writers use multiple media – for example, graphics or illustration – to enhance the communication of their ideas. Some use images (drawing, painting, graphics) or multimedia to augment their writing. In rare instances, a creative writer is able to communicate their ideas via music as well as words.
As well as producing their own written works, writers often write on how they write (that is, the process they use); why they write (that is, their motivation); and also comment on the work of other writers (criticism). Writers work professionally or non-professionally, that is, for payment or without payment and may be paid either in advance (or on acceptance), or only after their work is published. Payment is only one of the motivations of writers and many are never paid for their work.