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INside Scoop
Riding The Rocket
By Rowdy Rhodes
December, 2005, 08:01

2005 was a banner year for the no longer fledgling IN.
hat a fantastic year!

I say this with an enormous amount of pride, not in myself, but in all the triumphs around here: 12 months, a dozen issues of Inkwell Newswatch (IN), flagship publication of the Freelance Writing Organization International, working through year one on a shoe-string budget and achieving much of what we wanted.

We finnagled an editor to join us, of course, and have acquired some hot new writers, enjoyed the evolution of the ones who have stuck by us, and finally, a mighty big overhaul -- our Christmas gift to you -- of the new-look main FWO site.

All of this has been an amazing feat, accomplished only by way of a pile of perseverance, perspiration and patience. It has also been a great learning experience for me working with Daryl Jung, our editor, and the many professional authors and contributors of, and to, this publication. It's not too often in life that a guy like me gets the opportunity to work with people like these.

The highs have been so high that at times I have wanted, thirsted, lusted, to go out and drink up a celebratory storm, painting Toronto red -- not a good idea for non-drinking alcoholics -- over the fact that we've created what has become a recognized and highly respected writing resource ezine.

The lows have been so low that at times I have wanted to recommend shutting the whole shebang down and walk away in disgust. In fits of complete and utter self-contempt, anger over issues about content, creative differences with a few of the people involved (or now not involved), operational glitches and viruses, and so on.

And you want to know something?

I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Starting up a new publication is like trying to assemble a new sports franchise. You put together a bunch of completely different people, each with their own backgrounds, egos, experiences, time constraints, and first-hand knowledge, and then you expect them all to play perfectly together. Well, that's nothing more than a pipe dream. It doesn't happen. Like it's said, "There's no 'I' in team."

And so it was, and still is, with IN. We've made a little headway, but we've got a long way to go. It's been a ride that hasn't met with our initial expectations, but how many teams win all the trophies first year out? For that matter how many teams win any trophies at all first year?

Collectively we won three and lost one. The one we lost -- financial -- well, suffice it to say our founder has decided on giving the team another run through 2006. Who knows? Maybe financially it'll pick up.

The three we won? The web site snagged a Writers Digest's Top 101 Site Listing (I can still see Daryl's face agog at the Presse Internationale newstand), The Writer magazine's #1 General Writing Resource Site Listing and Book Marketing rag's Top Book Marketing Web Site Recognition. Not too shabby for a short-bodied, underfunded team.

Plus, IN had the distinct honour, to my utter amazement, of having the late Pierre Berton, A.L. Kennedy, Lisa Lenard-Cook, Catherine Ryan-Hyde, Paul Quarrington, Mark Horner, C. Hope-Clark, David Morrell, Zadie Smith/IFOA, Julie Czerneda, Fran Capo, and now Rebecca Forster grace its covers. Not only that, some of these authors have come back and written for us gratis just to help out, making you the big winner.

IN continues to amaze me, and I must admit sometimes scares the bejesus out of me, overwhelming me into thinking that it will somehow usurp the main writing resource site. Then what am I supposed to do? Plant my butt back on a barstool again?

Not. I have to remind myself that IN is an extension of the Freelance Writing Organization International and the publication of it is further evidence of our committment to providing writing information to those interested souls.

With Mr. Jung at the helm IN will continue to do just that, and do it in a fashion that is sometimes, admittedly, quite outside the box of how-to 'zines. It's his 25 years' experience as a journalist and his midwestern integrity, honesty and sense of purpose that makes IN the best-written, entertaining and informative how-to-write publication on the Internet. Quite simply put Mr. Jung is good at what he does.

And for that, and so much more, like our columnists -- Jen, Anne, Peggy, Buzz and T.E. -- and regular contributors; Sarah, Joan, James, Diego, Mark, and all the others -- as well as you, our loyal readers -- I wouldn't have, for the world, missed getting IN launched, online and up-and-running.

Thank you all.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and to all a Prosperous and Happy New Year!
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