willthewordsmith

willie jones is a

wordsmith:

 

 —one who is capable of stringing words together in a way that causes faces to smile, eyes to tear, hearts to race, blood to boil, ideas to germinate, and visions to expand.

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who is

Will the Wordsmith?

For two decades, I've worked as an editor at a technical magazine. While I wasn't looking, the day-to-day craft of forging words into explanations of how circuits and systems work made me a better artisan. Writing short, descriptive pieces and cobbling together headlines and promotional material honed my ability to deliver a lot of meaning with minimal raw material.

Now, I'm taking my tools and using them in service to myself and my people. I'm being pulled by a sense of obligation to use my skills to tell stories about black people in a way that others won't—or can't. It's the same tug that shook the Israelite Esther from her place of comfort and complacency in Persia. This is how God spoke to me through Esther chapter 4, verse 14: "Will, you are an effective writer. If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for your people from someplace else, but you will have cut yourself off from the blessings God has stored up for you. Who knows? Maybe you were gifted by God with these skills for such a time as this." I know. Heavy, huh?

I'm influenced by the the original wordsmith—the Word made flesh. His verbs were the tools that brought every noun in the cosmos into existence, My "Let there be" moments happen inside my notebook, but the power of life and death and the ability to shape new worlds still reside between those lines. The Word and the other complicated, conflicted stuff inside me is what leaks from my pen. So my words will always be colored by my memories of growing up in Brooklyn, my daddy, Sundays in church, Stevie Wonder, Fred Hammond, and Marvin Winans, the great poets (Langston Hughes, Audre Lorde, James Fenton, Rakim, and Big Daddy Kane), my love of food, the melody and rhythm in the way ordinary black folks live, move, and have our being, the experience of being a black man in America, and my ongoing recovery from the paralyzing feeling that maybe I'm not quite good enough. (Don't front: You've probably experienced that feeling too.)

 

my inspirational

Quote

I can take a phrase
that's rarely heard,
flip it,
now it's the daily word.

–Rakim
 

The Writing Process

Brain cells are lit.
Ideas start to hit.
Next, the formation of
words that fit.
At the table I sit,
makin' it legit.
And when my pen
hits the paper...
Awww s#%t

–Big Daddy Kane
 
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What people are saying about willthewordsmith...

This brother’s pen drips with artistic excellence, and his mind knows the power of being woke. That all-too-rare combination makes Will’s work something to pay attention to if you care at all about what needs to be cared about.
— SID SMITH III
The combination of a laugh-til-you-cry sense of humor with a smooth literary style is something most of us do not possess. The same cannot be said of Will Jones. His writing is poignant, inviting, and grows out of a keen knowledge of history, politics, and pop culture. Can one pen provocative prose and be generous at the same time? Yes, indeed. Will is not a literary snob, contemptuous of his audience. He is a modern-day grio who takes pleasure in sharing his skill with those who care to receive. Did I mention that he can make a mean red velvet cake?
— DENISE COLLINS
To say that Will is a talented writer is a a gross understatement. He uses words not only to tell a story, but to paint a vivid picture of what is happening. As you are reading, the people come alive and scenes take shape—like a movie playing in your mind. He has a way of drawing the reader in and making you feel like you know, and are invested in, the people he is writing about. Yes, Will is a true wordsmith.
— NICOLE WARD


 

MY PROMISE

Deliver real talk—even in my fiction. Keep it one hundred. Stay on full blast. Refrain from half steppin'. 

 

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