Wordsmithy – Book Review


Douglas Wilson has already written more books then the average American will read in their lifetime. His writing advice on his blog has been among the most popular content for a long time, and I was excited to see a book that expanded on his simple, effective tips. I was not disappointed. As a publisher, I have read a number of books on writing and advice for authors, and this is among the best.

Each of Wilson’s seven writing tips has its own chapter, where 7 more sub-tips are given and additional books are recommended. I love the style that this book is written in. It is easily digestible, and will improve your writing immediately. His first two chapters are on living a real life and on reading more. I can’t imagine a better start to a writing book.

I am a frequent highlighter/book-marker, but this book is so short and focused that there is really no need to highlight. All of the material is very good and easily referenced when you need a pick-me-up or a good kick in the pants. Wilson’s writing is not a dry list of rules to follow, but a seriously funny guide to the writing life. It will make you laugh out loud and convict your own conscience in one fell swoop.

Some of my favorite quotes from Chapter 1:

“Your writing advances a particular view of the world. Pretending that it doesn’t just confuses everybody, starting with you.” (21)

“Interesting people are interested people.” (23)

“Mark Twain once defined a classic as a book that everyone wanted to have read, but which no one wanted to read. In a similar spirit, lots of folks want to be “a writer” because they have ahd a few great ideas for a television script. they want to be a writer but are not all that thrilled about actually writing. They don’t want to write, they want to have written.” (25)

Buy it, you won’t be disappointed. If you are at all interested in writing, this is the place to start. Highly Recommended.