I’ll never be a ‘wordsmith’. Instead…

I got called ‘a wordsmith’ the other day.


I sometimes read texts and other works by others who choose to call themselves ‘wordsmiths ‘.

I don’t fit that category, and I don’t think I ever will.

I’ll never be a ‘wordsmith‘, worrying every single phrase into submission like a chess-master contemplating each move and its associated counter-moves.

No, I’m more of a word-herder.

I’m satisfied when the words are comfortably spread out in the proper paddock, in a healthy harmony. For me it’s enough when all are set in motion and that motion is in the right general direction. The reader can then catch the overall flow and meaning without either of us having to work too hard at it; and meanwhile I don’t have to come off as someone I’m not – just to make a point. That’s not to say there’s a black sheep hidden in the group here or there, but if you want to look for one, that’s up to you.

I’m never going to be a Robert Frost or a Jane Austen. I’ll drive myself crazy in working that hard at it.

My job has never been to show you how smart I think I am; but to bring with some clarity another point of view. I guess it’s an age thing: I get ticked off when someone is trying to impress through the use of flashy phrases. That malarkey always manages to obscure the message and annoy the reader.

I’m just a word-herder, and I’m comfortable with that undemanding definition.

I am unremarkably ordinary; just grateful to God for the complex simplicity of a warm fire, a quiet canine companion, a glass of good Bourbon, and a good book to read.


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