Word Hoards: Writing versus Reading

Jonathan Wolstenhome

I'm working on my year end wrap up bookish wise, but thought in the meantime I'd share a flash non fiction piece written while working through Dinty Moore's Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Non Fiction.

Word Hoards

I met a woman who was rather didactic, who lived to learn, who loved to confuse with her rather pedantic soliloquies over the ramifications of a certain tome.  I met another, autodidactic this one, a lover of words who loved to read, who loved to share her thoughts.  Who also lived to learn, but also to teach.  Yet, you weren’t aware you were being taught anything at all.  She did it in such a way that before you knew it, you’d fallen in like with the sort of book you’d never considered reading before.  Reading and learning seem to go hand in  hand.  Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, whether scratching the surface or diving deep into the underbelly.

It made me stop and consider. Am I autodidactic or a bibliophile.  Can one be both well-read and self-taught.  By no means am I one of those intellectuals with snooty nose in the air with the pinky finger pointed upward as I drink my tea. I’m more of a laid back reader and student of words.  Can’t say I’m pedagogic either.  Do I teach or just pass on what I learn, enjoying the journey and as confused as the next person.  Perhaps.  I love to learn. I love to read.  

Reading is as necessary as breathing.  I can’t live without the words and the stories.  It is an escape or should I call it a decampment from the real world.  I get rather crotchety without my books. Writing isn’t as necessary as breathing.  When I first made that connection or disconnection between reading and writing, it was rather worrisome.  Shouldn’t  it feel the same?  Then I realized writing is a choice, a love, a desire.  I don’t need to write, I want to write.  And because I choose it, it gives me freedom.

I probably missed the boat, the yacht, the battleship in completing this lesson.  Word choices – big or small, pedantic versus natural, high falutin versus simple, genuine tell it like it is.  

Writing is like diving  into a rushing river and seeing where it takes you. You can either swim as hard and as fast as you can against the current, fighting it all the way,  or relax and enjoy the journey. And if you miss the boat. Don’t worry. Another one will come along soon.  


  1. Yes, reading, writing, and teaching can be about an individual or about others. You can be sharing truth or wonder or pain, or you can be pointing to yourself. The difference is probably who/what you love and focus on, and that is an uncomfortable thought at times, isn't it?

    God bless you and your writing and reading!

    1. Yes, you've got that right. Very uncomfortable at times. Thanks for dropping by. Happy New Year!


Unfortunately due to being spammed, all comments will be moderated and will appear after approval. At least I'm not using the dreaded captcha. Thank you for dropping by!