The Boneyard: Our Best Moments as Writers

Daniel Ford and Sean Tuohy gave you their best moments as writers when they first founded Writer’s Bone. They asked the Writer’s Bone crew what their favorite moment was and here’s what they came up with:

Stephanie Schaefer: In college, my favorite moments as a writer were when I received papers with relatively little red mark-ups and that ever-so-satisfying “A” (or A-) on top–a rare fete for an English major. However, as I made my way into the real world, I realized that this subjective art doesn’t necessarily need A+ approval from a teacher or editor to be qualified as something you’re proud of.

Although sitting face to face with Shaquille O’Neal and firing questions at him was a badass moment in my journalism career thus far, one of my most gratifying accomplishments as a writer was crafting a story with true meaning behind it. I had the opportunity to interview a 16-year-old girl who survived cancer and found power in creativity. She remained positive and upbeat throughout the entire interview, and truly appreciated the chance to tell her story. After that interview, I knew that I wanted to use my skills to share inspiring narratives.

Lindsey Wojcik: "New York Brought Down to Size." That headline accompanied by an inaccurate composition of the New York City skyline donned the cover of my college's student newspaper my sophomore year. It was not the first headline with my name beneath it—I had experienced that euphoric moment of seeing my work published for the first time months before—but without that simple cover line, as well as the content of the story inside, I may not be where I am today.

I just was an eager contributing reporter hoping to obtain a few writing samples for my portfolio when, at a weekly writer's meeting, the features editor pitched an idea for a series of stories that would profile thriving cities a 20-something might consider moving to after college graduation. With my heart set on my own post-collegiate life in New York City, I knew I could deliver exactly what the editor wanted. I took the assignment.

Two weeks later—after interviewing a New York City-based realtor, a career development counselor at NYU, and three of my own school's alumni (former metro-Detroiters) that lived in the city—I turned in a comprehensive guide on where to live, work, eat and play in New York City after college. I was proud of it, but I never expected it would grace the cover.

The final product gained the attention of key editors and the newspaper's faculty advisor, who deemed it cover worthy. When the features editor passed along the news that it would, in fact, be the cover story, I could not remove myself from the newsroom. I only left to attend class, but returned long after other contributing writers left—determined to see the story come to life on the page and cover.

I craved camaraderie from the editors and advisor, so there I sat, deskless, shooting the shit with other staff members and pitching ideas, so I could contribute more. Each one of them listened intently and encouraged me to write as much as possible.

A year later, I would become the newspaper's editor in chief. And not long after graduation, I would finally be able to call myself a New Yorker. "New York Brought Down to Size" gave me the confidence and determination to achieve both.

David Pezza: My best moment as a writer is writing a short story that I haven't finished yet that I know will be crazy cool, but I need time to flesh it out…like years…

Also, one my best moments as a writer happened in a creative writing class at Providence College. The story, and the line about a redheaded woman I included in a previous post, got a huge response from the class. One kid, who was a nice and a cool dude (so someone I respected in the class), said about it, "Wish that I could write like that someday."

Emili Vesilind: It's always the same moment for me: that point in the writing process when the reporting has been jotted down, the lead has been crafted, and it's time to sort out and finesse the rest of the story. The hard part is over!

Elizabeth Nicklis: Getting the Principal’s Award in the first grade for writing. It was the first time I got an award for writing and you only get awards once in a while.

For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.