Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekend Assignment #289: Quitting Time

If you like, you can attribute the lateness of this entry to my being sick with a cold that seems to be getting worse instead of better. Be that as it may, let's get started:

Weekend Assignment: #289: Sooner or later, we all quit something that was once important to us: a job, school, a club, an addiction, a relationship, and probably other things I haven't thought of. Tell us about something you quit, and why you did so.

Extra Credit: Did you ever regret your decision?

There was a period in the early 1990s when I was working full time and also editing several fanzines at once: TARDIS Time Lore, The Observer, The Hologram and the compilation of a serial I'd written (Paradox: Two Doctors in Time) into a single volume. I was getting stressed out and burned out, but I didn't see a way out. Julie B kindly took over The Hologram, and the fan novella was a one-time project, so those weren't a major problem. But the two club newsletters, one for our local Doctor Who club, the other for our international Quantum Leap club, were not so easily disposed of. I had a somewhat misplaced pride of ownership and a heavy emotional investment in both zines, and worried that they couldn't go on without my frequent all-nighters, writing and editing. There didn't seems to be anyone in the wings to do the work instead, maintaining the quality of the final product. Oh, yeah, I had hubris to spare.

Now, I don't remember the exact order of events, which zine I quit editing first. But I think I stepped down from TARDIS Time Lore first. Over the next several years three other editors were elected by the club. One never edited anything, another managed to produce one issue before quitting over club politics, and one produced several issues, usually with covers that overshot the "fair use" principle in copyright law by quite a bit. Still, the zine did survive for several years without me in charge.

My most ambitious fanzine cover ever!

As for The Observer, I was so stressed out about it at one point that I mentioned it to my doctor at the time, the non-HMO D.O. who helped me with my weight (very successfully, for a while) and my allergies (ditto). Oh, and for a herniated disc. He practically ordered me to give up editing the zine, but that didn't even sound like an option to me. I think I may have cried a little, I was so upset.

But later that day, I talked it over with John, and contacted Margaret from the fan club. I soon learned that Sharon Major was willing and able to take over editing The Observer. Well over a decade later, she's still doing it. I've contributed the occasional article, but mostly not in recent years. I feel a little guilty about that, but not enough to do more.

Do I regret it? Do I miss it? Well, I'm kind of sorry that the Who club and its zine ran out of steam by 2000, but no, I don't really regret giving up all that work. I could not have saved the club, not with Doctor Who off local tv at the time and many of our members having moved away. My editing the zine would not have helped one bit.

As for The Observer, there's no way I could have kept my dedication and interest going all these years, as Sharon clearly has. The newsletter is in good hands, and I'm glad. I don't have to worry about it. If and when Sharon in turn quits, The Observer will find a new editor or it won't. If it doesn't, it's still had a good run, four times as long as the tv series that inspired it. I am content.

What about you? Have you found yourself in a position where you felt you had to quit something? Tell us about it, either in your own blog or in the comments below. Next weekend I'll highlight your responses, thus:

For Weekend Assignment #288: Columbus and his Day, I asked for your opinion of Columbus Day. Here are excerpts from the responses:

Cheryl B. said in comments:

I stopped by your blog to verify that you were still hosting your Friday "theme day".

In case you aren't sure why I would do that, please first go here:

and then read this one:

I see that you still are, so I shall leave you on the lists :-D

Should you wish to contact me for any reason, feel free to do so via: pink bunnies (at) sbc global (dot) net

Cheryl B.

Florinda said...
I can't remember when I last lived anywhere that observed Columbus Day, to be honest. School is in session locally, and it turns out that even the banks will be open today, although I'm not sure about the post office and government offices. Therefore, I've almost forgotten that it is a holiday. And I can't prove it, but even in places where it's observed, I suspect not much thought is really given to why it's a holiday or what it means; it's just another three-day weekend (and, in some cities, maybe an excuse for a parade).

Julie said...
I'm not inclined to believe this is a good reason for a national holiday. Yet, I'm not too keen on the idea of tossing out a replacement holiday. In these times fraught with division, it seems a safe bet that such a discussion would turn into an all-out brawl.

Mike said....
Yes, I think it still does merit a holiday. Sure, he wasn't a perfect man, but we do owe a lot to him. If someone else had discovered it, would things be different? We we be the same nation we are today? Who knows, a lot happened from the first time he came this way and the time we actually became a nation. (That was in 1776 in case you weren't sure). But, since he is regarded as the man who discovered America, we should celebrate his day. It only makes sense.
Thanks, all!

Here are the guidelines if you'd like to participate in the Weekend Assignment:
  1. Please post your entry no later than Friday, October 30th at 6 PM. (You can also post your response in the comments thread, but a blog entry is better. )
  2. Please mention the Weekend Assignment in your blog post, and include a link back to this entry.
  3. Please come back here after you've posted, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below.
  4. Visiting other participants' entries is strongly encouraged!
  5. I'm always looking for topic ideas. Please email me at mavarin2 on if there's a Weekend Assignment theme you'd like to see. If I use your idea, you will be credited as that week's "guest professor."
I'll try to get my next entry up tomorrow. *Cough cough!*



barrettmanor said...

I've written about something that was tough for ME to give up as well:

barrettmanor said...

PS--All the best with that cold. I had the concrud linger for over two weeks. At least I managed to avoid the flu that was going around!

Florinda said...

It was hard to narrow this one down, so I ended up with a survey of 5 things I quit, in one way or another.