Since 1997, that’s how many weekly issues of TidBITS I’ve assembled and edited. Each issue is released on Monday, so Sunday nights were the time when I’d do my pass on the issue, ready to hand off to publisher Adam Engst (who would sometimes be coming online on the East coast just as I was going to bed on the West coast). I’ve always been a late-nighter and writing and editing often works best for me when the distractions of the day are slumbering.
I’m not parting ways with TidBITS. In fact, I’ll soon be writing more than my schedule has allowed recently; more on that in the weeks to come. But the publication needs someone dedicated to the “managing” side of the title, and my schedule writing books and articles for various outfits has left me mostly editing and participating in staff discussions. (I was originally hired as managing editor, taking over from Geoff Duncan; read about how we all got started here. We switched my title to senior editor a few years ago to better reflect my involvement.)
That 811 number isn’t entirely accurate. I remember needing to bow out of an issue or two when I was working on one of my original books (maybe the Palm Organizers Visual QuickStart Guide?) Occasionally circumstances pushed production to Monday, such as the Macworld Expo keynote that Steve Jobs shifted to Monday instead of Tuesday, requiring us to write and assemble the issue in the afternoon at a Starbucks near Moscone Center. But for the most part, the bulk of my TidBITS involvement has happened on Sunday nights, usually past 10 p.m., with coffee and music as my late-night editing companions.
When Adam told me that he and Tonya had hired a managing editor, my first reaction was feeling slightly unmoored — 811 issues over 16 years is a lot. But my second reaction, which surfaced maybe half a second later was:
Sunday nights free. Imagine that.