Tuesday, December 14, 2010


So. Why a blog, you might ask. And why WordSmith?

Well, the second part is probably obvious. My last name is Smith – and I like words…a lot. All kinds of words. Big words. Small words. All words, really. You can do some pretty amazing things with them. But despite that love of words, it took the brilliant suggestion of a good friend (and aspiring writer) Ms. Stacy Toon to come up with that snappy title of WordSmith. Stacy, you rock. I owe you one!

As for the why…well, I guess that’s a little more complicated.

I suppose all aspiring authors want someone to read their work. Why else would we do it? About *mumble mumble* years ago, I read an editorial by Bob Greene called “Why Writers Write” – the original www. I kept that newspaper clipping for years, until it was raggedy and yellowed and finally fell apart on one of the many days I pulled it out to remind myself why I’m bothering with this whole writing thing.

His editorial boiled down to one simple answer: Writers write to be read.

We don’t necessarily do it for our own enjoyment, though for the most part it’s a nice way to pass an afternoon; we do it because we like to see a reaction from our readers. We want them to laugh when we make a funny. We want them to cry when we cry – which is a lot, especially during the revision process. But mostly we want readers to react – to feel something, think something, want something, need something…preferably more of our words on paper!

So that’s the why of it, in a nutshell. I want you to read what I write. I want to be a better writer, so I want to know what you think. I want to talk about writing with other people who love writing, and reading and words in general.

There will be more comments on other things later, but I think this is a good jumping off point. Who knows where we can go from here?

Next time:
The words we love and hate. What are some of yours?


  1. One of my favorite words: Yay!!! And I get to use it because 1. You have a blog! (Yay!) and 2. You have a great arrangement of words on your blog! Yay!

    In fact, I'm even going to throw in a Huzzah! and Wheee! (Two other faves.)

  2. Nice one, Shelagh. I'll read about/talk about writing with you. I'm still trying to figure out why I do it. Sometimes, it's torturous. Sometimes, it's fun. Mostly, like you said, it's hard. I'm glad you're here talking about it!

  3. Words I am not particularly fond of: rhetoric and pedagogy.

    Symposium, grand, brute, mastery, clarity, slander: are all pretty delicious.

  4. Thanks for the shout out (that's StacEy or S.E. in writing circles)
    All the wit and joy of phrasing I would expect.
    My Favs: brouhaha and ballyhoo
    My Hates: postmortem (ick) and pass (as in manuscripts or grading, who likes to be not in consideration or merely squeaking by in life)
    Can't wait for the next post. Congrats!