The term guest author can certainly be confusing. I mean, a guest chef will cook, a guest speaker will, well, speak. But a guest author doesn’t write, does he (or she)?
Nope. But a guest author is kind of responsible for laying the foundation for writing (or reading) in his audience. If the guest author is instructive enough, or inspirational enough, those listening should feel more confident or more motivated when it comes time for them to do their own writing–whether it be a short story or a short email to one’s colleagues.
A guest author should be able to draw upon his own experiences and writing struggles to help it make a smoother go for those in the audience. By offering tips or anecdotes, a guest author should be able to have everyone in that audience think, “Hey, I could do that one little step.”
And a guest author should be able to connect enough with the audience–through his talk or his books (preferably both)–to make them willing to do that one little step.
Now, does that really work for everyone listening ? Do they really all become a little bit better writers, or more motivated ones?
Well, tbh, that wouldn’t be realistic. However, if there is someone listening that has that desire to become a better writer–even if they have that door open just a tiny crack–it’s my job (and my privilege) to encourage them to open it even wider.
And, if I’m really lucky, maybe they’ll just kick that door wide open.