• Year-End Blapup (Yes, I Made a Portmanteau Out of Blog and Wrapup)

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN News & Events     Comments 3 comments

    2011 has been an excellent year for WriteByNight. See our recent year-end newsletter for some of the highlights, and for a taste of what 2012 has in store for us (before the 12/12/12 Armageddon.)

    Among the more exciting moments was the launch of our new website back in April. Running the WBN blog since then has been a pleasure–but that’s mostly due to all of you, so I want to get out of the way here and dedicate a post to you wonderful writers and readers.

    And what better way than to list the Top 10 comment-eliciting posts from 2011? The writers write ’em, the readers respond to ’em. Community. That’s what we’re all about here at WBN.

    Enjoy this little look back, ladies and gents. And as always, if any of these posts inspire you to write something of your own for us, send it my way.


    10. When is a Writer a Writer?

    Aundraya Ruse wonders when it becomes okay to call oneself a writer.

    “Being a writer probably means something different to everyone. Maybe it’s when you get something published for the first time. Personally, I think you can call yourself a writer much sooner than that.”


    9. Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

    Jenna Cooper wants to know how/where you find inspiration for your writing.

    “Seems like a cliché question, but there’s a reason why it’s frequently asked. Exchanging resources with fellow writers only serves to broaden everyone’s perspective.”


    8. Whither My Jockstrap?

    Here’s a post in which I bitch and moan about not being able to create my own new writing because I spend so much time editing the work of others.

    “Sometimes I feel like the equipment manager of the football team. I’m useful. I squirt water into the players’ mouths when they come off the field, I tie their shoes during timeouts, I hand them towels when they step out of the shower. But while they dry off, I stare at their dongs and wish my own were bigger.”


    7. Pour, Pour Writers

    Here’s a post in which I bitch and moan about writers who don’t know how to properly communicate with editors of literary journals.

    “I think it’s essential that writers see what it’s like on the other side of Submishmash. To that end, I’ve created a multiple-choice test using four 100% true and verbatim cover letters I’ve received recently in my role as a fiction editor.”


    6. Oh, The Places You’ll Go (to Write)

    Jenna lays down a list of her five favorite public places in Austin to get some good writing done.

    “Do you ever have that problem? You know what kind of environment supports your writing, but you’re too damn lazy or busy to make that environment a reality?”


    5. Write Who You Know?

    After being threatened with a lawsuit over a short story, I write a post about basing fictional characters on factual people.

    “Recent events, which I’m not allowed to address directly (ooh, what a tease), have gotten me to thinking about the line between fact and fiction, and specifically between fictional characters and real people.”


    4. The Book Wasn’t Better

    Sarah Rodriguez Pratt talks about some films she thinks were better than the books they’re based on (Jurassic Park and Wonder Boys, among others).

    “Then I read The Princess Bride a few months later. I wanted to like it! Really, I did! I loved the movie with intense, dizzying adoration. But I hated the book. I thought William Goldman treated the story like a huge joke, and I despised all the sarcastic asides about his personal life.”


    3. Spooky Stories

    Jenna offers her favorite horror read for the Halloween season, and asks for readers to share their own.

    “Whenever I mention this book to fellow readers, I usually get one of two reactions. They either say something along the lines of ‘Oh, that book scared me shitless’ or ‘What’s it called again? Oh, is it what The Haunting is based on? That movie sucked…’”


    2. On Writing … By Someone Who Doesn’t

    Nate St. Pierre asks WriteByNighthers for advice on how to write quicker and more often, and we help … kind of.

    “So what should I do? You guys are writers, yes? Or at least work at it much more than I do. I would hope so, anyway, because if you write fewer than the 3,000 words per month I pump out, you really need a gut check on the whole writing thing.”


    1. WFPL: David Foster Wallace

    My Mother Works So Hard PoemJustine obtains the rights to pub on our blog a childhood poem from David Foster Wallace; the post is then picked up by New York Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, The Guardian (UK), Slate, and a bunch of others.

    “While doing research for an upcoming article, I got the chance to root around in the David Foster Wallace papers at the University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center. I unearthed lots of neat (neat? Come on) things (things? Come on), but one piece in particular caught my eye–a childhood poem written by Wallace, presumably for a grade-school class.”


    Thank you to all of you for making this blog so much fun to run. We appreciate your feedback, be it witty, serious, or cantankerous. Keep it coming in 2012.


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    I only placed 4th? Damn it. That’s not even an Olympic medal.

    I will try to be more engaging/controversial next year.

    David Duhr

    If memory serves, that was your first shot out of the box. So fourth isn’t bad. Besides, it’s not a competition.

    Just kidding. It totally is.


    Oh God, you’re right — it was my first post. Which means I’ve been going downhill since then. DAMN IT.

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x