Word wrangler and rodeo riders

Word wrangler and rodeo riders

August 15, 2012 |  by  |  Wordbliss  |  , ,


Howdy, partner. I often refer to writing as word wrangling. I may not be a boot-stompin’ cowgirl, but you bet your bottom dollar I spend my days lassoing words.

Recently my husband and I attended a local rodeo that attracted riders from across the country. As we hooted and hollered with the crowd, I realized the similarities between writers and riders go beyond the fact that they’re homophones.* In fact, here’s six.

6 things writers and rodeo riders have in common

 1. Your end result is on display for all to see. After drafts and edits, revisions and headaches, a writer’s work is out in the open, available for the audience, whether that’s a boss, a grant-awarding committee, a client, or a national consumer audience. Likewise, rodeo riders spend endless hours perfecting their lasso or getting their grip just right for their 10-second bull ride in front of the beer-guzzling crowd.

2. You take ownership of the animal. To be a successful writer, you must take a decisive lead over concepts and words, deciding where to go and how to get your readers there. When a rodeo rider takes that leap into the arena on bare back, darn tootin’ they own their animal.

3. You have stiff competition. With approximately 15 million books published in 2012, and an avalanche of digital media sources, there’s more to read than can ever be read. It’s intimidating for writers. The rodeo competitors we watched also had a narrow margin between champion and the guy no one remembers. That’s tough love, but it’s true.

4. You make your craft look good. When a writer gets it right, their words jump off the page (or screen). It’s both a talent and a hard-earned skill. The same goes for rodeo queens. Woo-whee, they whip around that arena with hairspray-plastered locks flying behind, and it’s almost like you’ve witnessed art in a cowboy hat.

5. You like attention. Let’s face it: If you’re going to throw your ideas out to the world, you like the spotlight. In fact, there’s almost nothing a writer likes more than having others partake and respond to their words. Comments are the way to their heart. (Not hinting here…OK, well maybe.) Rodeo riders are the same – whether on a bull, steer wrestling, barrel racing, tie-down roping; they’re addicted to those bright stadium lights and the roar of the crowd. It’s pounds of work for ounces of spotlight, but it’s worth it.

6. You know you can’t win them all. Alas, not every marketing email gets the click-through rate you want, manuscripts get rejection letters, and some worthy blog posts get ignored. Writers are no strangers to rejection, but with some grit, their next victory may be on its way. Rodeo competitors know that only one name will grace the billboard as the winner. Especially if you’re these guys.


*Flashback to your English class. “Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings.” Think flower and flour, peace and piece. Next time you’re on ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,’ you’ll thank me; I take a 5% winning commission.


  1. love it. this makes me especially happy since i’m going to a rodeo on friday night!

  2. I will be honest, the word homophone got my attention. Great article! I liked the use of homophones as well in the introduction. Great tips too!

  3. What a great analogy between writers and riders. I like #5 the best, of course we want attention! I love the humor you throw into your writing.

  4. Their’s nothing like uh nice lope up a mountain trail awn uh smooth hoarse, witch is similar two the feeling when awl the write words just flow onto the paper.

    On a more serious note, I just learned the difference between homophones and homonyms. Thanks!

    • For a second there, I thought your words were from a spammer! Well done, Tyler. Glad you learned something, and when you use this fact on “Jeopardy” someday, I request a shout out.

  5. I definitely love your writing style Crystalee! The true questions is: would wearing wranglers, boots & a giant belt buckle give you an edge over the competition? Great job! Loved the blog post & I certainly look forward to reading more from you.

  6. Thanks, Caitlin! Great to hear from you, my friend. Yeah, I ought to give the getup a try…see how that goes for inspiration. Appreciate you reading and commenting!

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