A Wordsmith’s Manifesto

October 15th, 2011   •   no comments   

The Wordsmith's Manifesto

I am a writer. Wordsmithing is my craft. 

I eat, pray and love the written word. My spare moments are spent reading, writing, or listening to words that bring knowledge, inspiration, comfort, wisdom and joy.

I am usually poised to pen something down. Especially when I’m triggered by a flash of insight, moved by a scene, or teased by an idea that refuses to leave my head. And my heart.

I carry a notepad and pen with me whenever I go for meetings, regardless of the agenda. Capturing prodigious quantities of notes is always a good practice for the inner journalist in me.

I read, and read, and read. During bus rides. When queuing for food. While waiting for somebody. Before I sleep at night.

Reading is the pause which refreshes me mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

You will always find a book in my bag – and yes, I am a “bag man”. Nothing triggers good writing better than good reads.

I’m a keen observer of my environment, the people surrounding me, and the unique situations that I find myself in. They provide fodder to my literary outputs, planting the seeds of the narratives which I formulate into sentences, paragraphs, chapters and ebooks.

I pay special attention to how every word is crafted and honed to meet the page.

Like an obsessive-compulsive craftsman, I fuss over the flow and cadence of my sentences, the expressions used, the points highlighted, and how they are all assembled together. Especially the beginning and the end.

Being human, however, there will be “off” days when I can barely muster a single virtuous word. Days where the product of my labour are either raw and septic, or overcooked and burnt.

I understand that good writing isn’t as easy as turning on a tap and letting it flow. Writer’s block is an inevitable occupational hazard that hits all of us. When it happens, we need to persevere with our prose – no matter how painful it may be.

I believe in different strokes for different folks. Write for your audiences and write for the medium. There are distinct differences between an advertisement, a press release, a blog post, an invitation email, a strategy paper, and a diary documenting your innermost thoughts.

I am always mindful of the contexts of my writing. There is a time and place for everything under the Sun, Moon and stars.

Finding the right moment to tell the right story to the right audience under the right conditions are crucial elements of writing success. Anything else is a compromise.

I am always learning and always picking up new things. While I trust in my own instincts, I am also painfully aware that I’m not omniscient, omnipresent or omnipotent.

I will make mistakes. I will screw up. But I will pick myself up again, brush off the dust on my knees and shoulders, and carry on.

I am a wordsmith. Writing is my craft.

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