Focussing at that point on learning a bit more and fixing a first meeting, I didn’t really notice the terminology he had chosen.
Later on though, I realised that ‘wordsmith’ is a label I rather like.
Take the word ‘blacksmith’; to me a blacksmith is more than someone who makes horseshoes. A smith is someone who takes a very basic raw material and creates something useful and frequently beautiful. A smith spends years training and honing their skill and has learned to twist and temper, smooth and polish the basic material with which he works.
A wordsmith is therefore someone who takes the raw materials of communication and creates something that does a job, efficiently, effectively and, often, beautifully.
As a freelance copywriter, my days are spent taking information about a variety of diverse businesses – from jewellery to fertility – and manipulating it into a readable form. A form that draws in the target audience, keeps their interest and encourages them to take the action that the client wants taken. Click here, phone there, call in, do that, avoid this, buy from us and donate, donate, donate. It’s a skill, honed by experience, and one that the term wordsmith perhaps reflects better than the term copywriter.
Writing great copy is a task I never find tedious, am always intrigued by and intend to keep doing! The buzz word for anything ‘crafty’ at the moment of course is artisan. So, am I an artisan wordsmith? I’ll let my clients judge that!