I Am NOT a Wordsmith

Drive with caution, artist at work

Drive with caution, artist at work

For someone that has profusely expressed his longing to write professionally, it might seem a bit odd for me to declare that I am not a wordsmith. In truth, I used to love that term. I found it to be a rather pithy and clever expression. Who wouldn’t want to think of themselves as a refined craftsman?

My change in attitude came from a friend and co-worker. This is a man for whom I have great respect. He’s highly intelligent, (although, like me, fails to live up to his potential), clever and wickedly funny. (He hails from the Boston area originally so I think it’s required that I use the term “wicked” in his description.)

While sitting at work, pretending to be busy (a worthwhile skill practiced by so many), we inevitably began a discussion about writing as a career. He expressed his dislike for the term “wordsmith”. In fact, I think his actual comment was “I fucking HATE that word! It’s so pretentious.”

Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared for that bit of sarcastic insight and while I neither submitted an agreement or disagreement, inwardly I felt just a touch offended.

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Why I Write

Writing

Stephen King, the famous horror author once told me “Chris, you’ve got a lot of talent and some great ideas. But you lack discipline. You’ve got to get those ideas out of your head and onto the paper. Dig deep into your soul and rip out the guts of your inner self and fling it around for the whole world to see. If you do that, you’ll be successful. I promise.”

Ok, that may not be EXACTLY what he said. It was more like, “Yeah, can I have a pack of Marlboro Mediums, please?” (He used to come into the convenience store where I worked years ago) But this was my idol, Stephen King… talking to me! I knew what he really meant. And now here I am, years later taking his advice (sort of).

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