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Thanks to food blogger Lisa Waldschmidt for capturing this shot at the Cleveland Fabulous Food Show bookstore in November. This is the kind of thing that keeps writers humble.

To all of you who read my blog — to the silent ones, the stalkers and the enthusiastic regular responders; to the occasional posters; to the deep thinkers who have helped me work through the thorny issues of blogging and food writing; to the newbies and the superstars who take time to comment; to those who correct my typos — I am deeply in your debt for making Will Write for Food worth reading.

Thanks for a whole year of enthusiastic discussion. I can’t wait to dive into 2011, with your support.

Here are my top six posts of the year:

  1. Is Food Blogging Too Much Work?
  2. Giving Recipes Away a Big Subject at IFBC
  3. Adjusting a Recipe Doesn’t Make it Yours
  4. Outrageous Blogger Request, and the Outcome
  5. 7 Most Common Recipe Writing Errors
  6. Should Food Bloggers Write Sponsored Posts?

And if you have a moment, watch this hilarious animation, So You Want to Be a Journalist.

My best wishes to you for a successful year ahead in food writing.

Happy New Year,


p.s. My quarterly newsletter on food writing just came out. If you’d like to receive it, sign up here.


  1. says

    I am grateful you started this site. You are covering information that you can’t find anywhere else. I really appreciated that. Looking forward to more insightful posts in the New Year.

  2. says

    Best wishes to you as well for the upcoming year!

    I am thankful for finding your blog and your book in the past couple months. Interestingly, it came at a great time. I was beginning re-design and major changes for my blog and wanted to take my writing a few steps further and nail down my ideas and plans. Your words have inspired me and the changes to my blog are a part of that inspiration, including getting down to a weekly schedule.

    Thanks so much for all your insight and wisdom. May 2011 be a great year for you.

  3. says

    Hi Dianne,
    Thanks for your hard work and for sharing so much valuable information to us bloggers. I have been following your blog and your comments on twitter for the last year or so.
    I am going to make some changes to my blog soon and keep it up throughout next year. As a start, I tried to access the links in your post above but none of the pages exist! Is this a mistake?
    I wish you all of the best in 2011 and look forward to regularly reading your interesting blog.

  4. says

    Shame on me for not paying much attention to your site.
    I am not a strict food blogger as I write about food, wine, travel (since March 2005).
    I fail one of the recommendations you made at your San Francisco talk to share your own photos and recipes. If I make crepes, a croque-monsieur, soup, a regular dish, I don’t think about it. It is part of my daily life since I was a kid growing up in France.
    I mostly mention recipes from cookbooks sometimes as a follow up to an interview with the author. Most of the photos I use come from publishers, other sites and photographers or exhibits.
    A basic reason why ‘Serge the Concierge’ still exists is that I enjoy the act of writing.
    I do agree with you that it takes discipline.
    On fun versus effort, a light piece might get more reads than something you spent
    time on. It could be luck or good timing.
    Happy holidays.
    ‘The French Guy from New Jersey’
    Facebook: sergetheconcierge
    Twitter: @theconcierge

    • diannejacob says

      Hi Serge, thanks for writing. Cute title. I hope you get permission to use photos taken by others.

      It is true that my best posts aren’t necessarily the ones I spent the most time on. In fact, the one that got the top responses above, I wrote very quickly. Just goes to show that I don’t always know what will work or why. That’s part of what makes blogging so intriguing!

  5. says


    I am so glad that I found your blog after starting my this year. Your posts are always thought provoking and I have learned so much from them as I am learning from your book!! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in 2011. Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2011!!

  6. says

    Dianne (Donna?!), I just got “Will Write for Food” in my Christmas stocking and I’ve been somewhat of a recluse this week reading every chapter and completing the writing assignments. As a long-time fan of your blog, I was expecting great things, but I am blown away by the wonderful advice you share in the book and all the terrific writers whose work you included. (Thanks to you, I already have next years’ reading wish-list well underway.) Best wishes for a happy new year and continued success! You deserve it.

  7. says

    Thank YOU for increasing my knowledge about blogging exponentially. I’m off to check out a couple of these posts. And Newsletter? Of course I want one! Signing up for it now.

    Your response to my comment— you said blogging being a business shouldn’t be demeaning– that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to say to my husband for years now. He’s a ceramic artist who can’t bring himself to treat it like business.
    I guess that’s what agents are for.

    Can’t wait for Dec. 2011. Too far away.

    • diannejacob says

      You are most welcome, and thanks for being a frequent poster and signing up for my newsletter.

      Many artists have that problem. Are there classes he can take that are specifically for artists and creative people? Or books he might read? An agent is not going to help. Self-employed people have to learn how to treat their art like a business.

      • says

        Oh believe me. This is MORE than an issue. He doesn’t really let me help with this. I think it will be a long time coming around, but I have hope it will. This is probably why most artists become famous posthumously. :)
        On second thought, I will start looking for some books right now and place them strategically, and naturally, throughout the house.

        Just realized that the sign said Donna. Awesome.

        • diannejacob says

          Hah ha. Yeah, hardly anyone commented on that. It was the source of laughter around here. Maybe a little annoyance, but not much.

          Sure, place them strategically. What can it hurt? It’s a common problem, really.

  8. says

    Dear Donna Jacobs –
    I want to be just like your blog when I grow up! And work for the NYT and go out with all my friends too! You are just too funny! So, you want to be a foodblogger? That was terrific.
    I am wishing you the very best in 2011 – and hoping for that online workshop/class/seminar/webinar that I hope you are planning….
    PS Gotta love that sign – at least they used Mardi Gras colors!

    • diannejacob says

      Ha ha. Thanks, Karen. Taking a break from teaching at the moment. We’ll see about next year.

      Glad you enjoyed the video. I’ve watched it a few times and still find it hilarious.

  9. says

    Thank you to you.
    Your book (old edition, I admit) opened a door to me on the real world of food writing. It (you) helped me to set clearly my goals. In a year a lot tons of things about blogging, cooking and maybe even writing. I really hope to translate these abilities in something concrete.
    Your blog is a regular source of motivation, hints and help. Comments are often amazing as your posts.
    Thank you and happy new year.

  10. says

    I enjoy reading your posts and look forward to some more thought provoking writing in the New Year. Season’s greetings and best wishes for a very happy new year, Dianne.

    • diannejacob says

      Oh yes, lots of blogging. I’d better start thinking of an editorial calendar, as some have suggested. Same to you, Beatrice.

  11. says

    Happy New Year Dianne! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog over 2010 and look forward to more interesting discussions, questions and disagreements in 2011!

    • diannejacob says

      I forgot to thank the people who disagree. I am so grateful and indebted to them. Thanks for bringing it up!

      Happy New Year to you, Anna.

  12. says

    Happy New Year, Dianne! As an enthusiastic silent reader, sometime-poster, your book and your blog have been an informative and entertaining part of my 2010. May 2011 bring you all good things and publicity with your name spelled correctly.

    • diannejacob says

      From your lips..Thanks, Claudia. Happy to entertain. It’s part of my job and reminds me not to be so serious! Happy New Year to you.

  13. says

    Dianne, I’m cracking up so hard over that photo above. How could someone get your name so wrong?! YIKES!

    Anyway, thanks for writing this year. I’m thrilled to have met you on more than one occasion. Your thoughts and ideas are delightful and insightful. I agree wholeheartedly with Shauna–you’re one of the best parts of my year, as well!

    Cheers, and enjoy 2011!

    • diannejacob says

      Yes, apparently, they could, even though it was spelled correctly on the cover of my book, right on the sign.

      I’ve enjoyed your comments and your gorgeous blog, Jackie. And the opportunity to have met you in Seattle.

  14. says

    Thanks for the insightful food for thought with each and every post, Donna — I mean Dianne;)

    As for that video “So You Want to be a Journalist”: Hilarious! I love the deadpan, droning, almost lament: “I want to write for the New York Times.” Good luck with that.

    • diannejacob says

      Yeah, exactly. And that’s what it would be for most of us — a lament!

      Thanks Sarah. It’s been a pleasure to have your comments on the blog.

  15. says

    Dianne-although in the past I haven’t commented on your posts I have been reading them for a while. I devoured your book cover-to-cover on the airplane one day. I find myself thinking about the questions you pose and the responses you get. Your best advise to me was ‘revise’. I think some of my best posts are the shortest.
    Thank you.

    • diannejacob says

      “Devouring” is a great compliment, Stephanie. Thanks.

      Funny how short posts can be just as effective as longer ones. For many people they’re the hardest kind to write.

  16. says

    I write too. For the last two weeks I have been frozen with fear over revising my WIP. I did a search on my “fear” and found some of your older posts, which led me to this one.

    I’m glad I found it. :-)

  17. says


    I am already half-way through your book (marking important points as I read along) and am throughly enjoying it. I couldn’t stop myself from writing this brief review about the book.

    Thank you so much and hope to see you write even more in the coming year. Happy New Year.


  18. says

    I thought for sure when I this post’s graphic popped up in my reader the other day that this post was going to be all about one of the first things I learned in Journalism 101 — Spell names correctly — EVERY time. No excuses. But instead it was a thoughtful thank you and send-off to 2010 with a gift — a link to a fabulous video. Thank you and I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous (in many different ways) New Year!

    • diannejacob says

      Hey, that would have made a great post. Too bad I didn’t think of it. Thanks Fran. Glad you enjoyed it anyway. Happy New Year. I was thinking of Mexico this morning and how much fun we had at the Food Blogger Camp. Look forward to seeing you again.

  19. says

    Happy new year to you Dianne! It was a pleasure hearing you speak at Blogher and meeting you there. Hope to see you at Blogher Food in May. Your advice is so helpful – always something I had never thought of before. Best wishes for a successful new year!

    • diannejacob says

      Thank you Karen and same to you. Hope to be at BlogHer Food again this year, preferably as a speaker, but we’ll see.

  20. says

    I especially like Stephanie’s comments about the best writing advice being “revise.” There is a funny story–you may have heard it–about the Earl of Sandwich (I think) apologizing to a friend for writing such a long letter, explaining that he didn’t have time to write a shorter one :-)

    Enjoyed your posts this year. Hope you’ll come enjoy mine more often. Have a happy, healthy New Year.

  21. anastasia says

    Will Write for Food is my favorite new (to me) blog of 2010. I adore the thought provoking topics and the challenge to strive for quality and integrity. Keep up the excellent work!

  22. says

    Wow, I’m speechless over the typos on that sign! It makes me feel just a little uncomfortable, actually… You are taking it very well (though I hope you pointed the errors out to whoever created it)…

    I’m happy to have found your book and taken your class. Cheers to 2011 and many more blog posts!

    • diannejacob says

      Thanks Katie. Hey, we all make mistakes. Yesterday two people pointed out typos they found on one of my web pages. But this one is particularly funny.

  23. says

    I’m one of the newbies and so happy to have stumbled upon your site. Read Will Write for Food (the book, to be clear) in practically one sitting. Here I am, following your advice and hoping to learn more in 2011.

  24. says

    A very Happy, Healthy & Prosperous 2011! Dianne, your blog posts always make me think and work through my own dilemmas, ideas and thoughts and always have me seeing both sides to every issue which, in the end, makes me a better writer and a better blogger. I always enjoy coming here immensely! Wishing you all the best for 2011!

  25. says

    Oh Donna that’s HYSTERICAL!
    It was great to meet you at BlogHerFood in October – am hoping to get to another food bloggers conference this year too. Love the book – am lending out the first edition to other local food writer friends.
    Have a great 2011!

    • diannejacob says

      Yeah, I got a good laugh out of it, Mel. Great to meet you too. Thanks for lending out the book. If they want to mark up their own versions, they can always buy a copy.

  26. says

    I’m excited about your quarterly newsletter! I didn’t know you had been sending these for so long, I have so many back issues to read now! I feel like I just discovered an awesome TV series that’s over so I can watch 3 episodes at a time :)
    Thank you for being there Dianne (and NOT Donna!), you are a constant source of inspiration and motivation. I wish you a wonderful year, may some of your most ambitious dreams come true!

    • diannejacob says

      Thank you very much Marie. Yes, I have been writing the newsletters for a long time. Although since it’s only 4 per year, I haven’t gotten burned out yet! I don’t know how people who do it weekly keep it up.


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