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The Last Quill
By Jennifer Edelson
July, 2007, 15:30

I've always wanted to use the phrase "the beginning of the end" in my writing, but never wrote anything before now that dealt with the ends or beginnings of anything. At least not in any way that seemed befitting. Today though, the beginning of the end seems like a pretty succinct way to describe this, my last Bitter Quill article, a send off to Bitter Quill readers.

After some thought and trepidation, I've decided to take a break from column writing, so that I can focus the little extra time and energy I do have lately, on finishing my second novel and publishing the first. Knowing youíre out there, well it kept me writing. But my attentions have been divided into too many pies this last year, and Iím feeling like you deserve more than perfunctory.

Writing the Quill has been a spectacular experience, but when all is said and done, there are people better suited to tell you how to navigate the business of writing. Now Iím looking forward to going back to being what I really am Ė just another writer trying to carve out a niche Ė and picking up a few tips of my own. So, sadly for me at least, this month will be the last that I connect with IN readers here in this forum.

When I started writing The Bitter Quill, I envisioned the column as sort of a monthly journal for new writers, for unpublished writers trying to become published, and those with a love for their craft just in general. I wanted the Bitter Quill to be a place where writers could come to relate. And on some level I hope I achieved that goal. I hope youíve enjoyed it, or at the very least, gotten a laugh out of my sometimes skewed, sometimes brilliant, sometimes staid insights and suggestions. I laugh at myself all the time. Iím hoping Iím not alone.

Itís been a great experience. One that Iím sure will guide me. Iíve learned a lot about myself while writing for IN. Iíve shared a lot, and have been lucky enough to correspond with some of you. Iíve also learned a lot about the writing world, market, and community. And I can say with confidence that even though writing professionally, or finding a publisher of any sort Ė whether magazine, short story, or technical abstract Ė is a challenging road to go down; itís also very scenic and ultimately worth the bumps and potholes.

Iíve also met and worked with a few wonderful, not to mention absolutely fascinating people. Writing for IN was in fact, my first lesson on how genuine and supportive the writing community can be. And of course IN the magazine has always been a treasure chest of helpful advice and information.

IN has grown, and continues to thrive, thanks in many ways to Rowdy Rhodes, INís former editor Daryl Jung, and current editor Julie Pierce, as well as INís talented writers and columnists. All exceptional and kind people, who generously supported, and continue to support IN, INís writers, and the writing community. For them, Iím grateful.

So while Iíll no longer be a part of what Iím sure will be an illustrious future for IN, Iím glad to have been there in the beginning. And while this is the end of The Bitter Quill, this is not the beginning of the end for me. Iím off to try new things, but wonít ever forget this experience. Itís been worth every word. Thank you so much everyone for sharing it with me.  
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Jennifer Edelson is a former practicing Minnesota attorney, now regular IN columnist, freelance writer and legal writing professor. Her writing has appeared on all the finest refrigerators in the Twin Cities. Jennifer can be emailed at:

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