Aphelion Editorial 043
The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...
by Dan L. Hollifield
Hello and welcome!
Before I get to the editorial proper, I'd like to welcome
McCamy Taylor to the Aphelion staff as an Assistant Editor. She
has kindly consented to help out with the backlog of submissions.
(Although, I don't know how this is going to look on her resume', LOL! "You
were working for an online magazine? For free?) McCamy's long
been a favorite of Aphelion readers and now she will be bringing her
talents to editing for us. We've got a sizable backlog of submissions
to wade through and Cary tells me that his hip-boots are beginning to
chafe, just a little... Ahem... So I'm proud to announce McCamy coming
onboard as Aphelion's newest editor. We change as we grow, and grow as
we change. Once again, I have to remark on how Aphelion has evolved
since the early days-- four whole years ago, LOL! Back then it was just
me, a TANDY 386, and a lonely little URL. Now, there's an active staff
of six! My, how things change.
And in the spirit of change-- Feburary's issue will
mark another Aphelion Birthday, so look out. There are some tweaks in
the works for the Birthday Issue. Just another step in Aphelion's
continuing quest to provide a quality forum for writers.
And now-- back to the drivel- er, the editorial, that
The Web is one of the most marvelous tools that a
writer can have. It can also be one of the worst time-wasters mankind
has ever invented. That was driven home to me yesterday as I re-visited
a website that I'd not looked at for months. Not only did I come up
with an outline for a killer story, gotten a chance
to witness the evolution of a website, and spent several hours reading
page after page of oddities worthy of Charles Fort-- I also managed to
while away most of a cold afternoon. I both wasted time and put it to
good use in the same motion.
So, great - the Web is the biggest research library ever
stocked... However, it can also be the single greatest procrastination
excuse of modern times.
And let's face it- who needs another
excuse to put things off? Certainly not me. I learned years ago that
the best way to get a sink full of dishes washed quickly-- was to turn
on my computer and open up the word processor. I'd suddenly feel the
need to stack clean dishes in the cabinet just as soon as that blank
page came onscreen. Now, you can imagine how that urge mutated after I
bought a modem and got online! Now I could delete
my spam-- er, check my e-mails, or read Newsgroups, or look at
websites... Anything but get the work done.
Well, all that blather amounted to was that its easy to
let yourself get distracted. Writers face that challenge, and to
overcome it they learn to schedule writing time. Somehow. You learn
that you have to make time to write or run the risk
of realizing one day that you're not a writer any more. For some
"You are young and life is long,
And there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find,
Ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run,
You missed the starting gun."
Pink Floyd -- "Time" -- Dark Side of the
Those lyrics sum up what I'm getting at in this essay.
To wit: A procrastinating writer isn't writing. Delay doesn't get the
story told. As Fictioneers, we have to whip that particular demon down
every day. We have to decide to write that story, work on that next
draft, do the job we keep putting off. Its either that or that long,
slow slide into suddenly not being a writer any more.
Now, I'm not saying that the Net is evil, or a waste of
time for a writer. It is and should always be a great tool for writers.
What I am saying is that the Net is also a great temptation to put off
getting that "job" done. Just one more webpage, just one more Newsgroup
article, "I'll just pop into one more Chatroom-- Say hello to some old
friends..." I'm sure you've done it your self. I know I have.
So at last we come to that oft repeated saw: Schedule
time to write, stick to the schedule. You may not feel
like writing when it comes time to write. I often don't, myself. But I
do write, anyway. I know that I have to, or fade
away. Its something that I've had to learn-- And it didn't come easy.
The nice thing is that you should not only schedule
time for work, but time for play as well. Oh, and don't let the one
swallow the other. To keep yourself sane, you need time to play and
Thanks for your time.
© 2001 Dan L. Hollifield
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