Quotes / Writing Advice / Writing Inspiration

for all the compulsive wordsmiths

For some of us, writing is what we do for leisure, pleasure, happiness. For others, it pays the bills and earns us ego-boosts. For me, it’s a mix of the two.

I have a love/hate relationship with writing. I hate starting, but it’s such a buzz when I’m in the midst of it. That’s why this quote from Margaret Atwood caught my eye:

Writing is not a job description. A great deal of it is luck. Don’t do it if you are not a gambler because a lot of people devote many years of their lives to it (for little reward). I think people become writers because they are compulsive wordsmiths.

I think she’s right. No matter the reason you write, being a compulsive wordsmith is a major part of it. So for all the compulsive wordsmiths, keep tapping, scribbling and gambling away. Just remember, never place your bets on cliches or useless adverbs.


11 thoughts on “for all the compulsive wordsmiths

      • Words of wisdom, I vehemently agree!

        OK… I am just playing, but I do agree with what you said. Adverbs are so hard to cut out because we feel we need them in and cliches are the easy way out…I am happy that someone else has made the effort to say it out aloud here!

        Great post, thank you!

      • Ahh, we could spend ages ranting about adverbs! It’s a topic that could easily (oops) take up a whole other blog post.

        And I’m glad you liked the post :]

  1. Kyra,
    Nice Atwood quote. And you’re right to mention the compulsive aspect of the serious writer. I’ve met so many new authors online since modern publishing changed, and a tremendous amount of them are money-driven or simply find it cute that they wrote a book. I feel those motivations lead to disappointment and mostly prevent the writer from growing in a creative sense. Understanding the nature of one’s own compulsion to write is important, too. But that’s perhaps a conversation of psychology, for another time… Thanks for sharing.

    Damon Ferrell Marbut
    Author, Awake in the Mad World

    • You’re right, Damon. And I think there’s something very different about people who write for money, or write a book to check it off their bucket list. Writing should be something we’re completely passionate about. I’ve found that no matter what it is I’m writing, whether it’s stale copywriting or a chapter in my fiction novel, I find it fun and I love doing it. I just love putting words together. That’s why I love the term ‘wordsmith’ :]

  2. Pingback: Wordsmiths in Nigeria: Relics of a lost age? by Chika Nwakama « Su'eddie in Life n Literature

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