I just received a copy of Doug Wilson’s new book, Wordsmithy, and while on vacation I had a chance to dive into it. For full disclosure I should point out that the book was not sent to me—it was sent to Keith who was probably supposed to give it to someone more important than I—and I would not be in the top half of anyone’s list of people to review a book. That being said, we need content for the website and Douglas Wilson is always a great read, so here goes nothing—or rather something.
The subtitle of the book is “Hot Tips for the Writing Life.” Had I read this instead of glossing over it, then perhaps when the introduction began by addressing public speaking and then went on to talk about writing I would not have been so confused. Perhaps I should have read “Hot Tips for the Reading Life” first.
The first chapter gives seven very insightful tips for writing and the subsequent chapters delve deeper into these insights. The chapters are filled with wit, examples, and quotes. At the end of each chapter Wilson provides a succinct take away and additional resources.
Containing about 120 pages it is not a daunting book, but it is filled with magnificent insights, many of which I am already attempting to imitate and use in my daily life. This book will definitely help me to be a better writer, because the principles in it are very practical and Wilson makes them sound like fun. I suppose I will have to give this copy to my Mom, but I will be sure to purchase my own, if only because I got Doug Wilson’s joke on page 110 before he revealed that it was a joke on page 112, where he gives the instruction: “Don’t be afraid to learn from your own typos.”
I am not sure that anyone will ever confuse me with a good writer, but by reading books like Wordsmithy, one day I may, at least temporarily, confuse someone. If you want to be a good writer, this book will inspire you to keep working hard at your craft.