Starting Line – My Mac Magazine #50, June ’99

Hello, everyone!

Well, here we are–50 issues into one of the best Macintosh digital magazines ever created. What an amazing journey it has been. I first found My Mac when I received those weekly emails from AOL–you know, the ones where they inform you of the latest updates to AOL and how great they are for you.

Well, I had to check out My Mac. I loved it–very nontechnical, down-to-earth, straightforward–a lot like me! And, it was free. Since I was in the process of buying a house, free sounded real good.

Then, in one of the first issues I read, Tim mentioned the need for a beginner’s column. He wanted a writer that could give tips to people who are just starting to master their Macs. I had been playing around with the idea of writing for awhile and thought, “Why not? I’m not technical but I can help folks move around their systems better.” So, I sent Tim a tentative email and was thrilled he thought I was good enough to join the ranks of the My Mac columnists.

Wow! Not only did I get to write about a subject near and dear to my heart, not only would I be able to help people out, but I am now a published writer! Be still my beating heart. Ideas crammed my brain (writer’s block was still a year away!). Anticipation sweetened my days. Excitement thrilled my soul! But wait, write a good column and close on my house, all at the same time? That’s when I started to sweat.

So, I decided my husband could handle the move for awhile and I could get down to writing. I wrote my first column in my new house, with just my trusty Mac and computer desk there­nothing else. It was a bright November day, sunlight streaming in the windows, echoes reverberating through the structure, children’s laughter filtering in from the park next door. The satisfaction I got (and the strung out nerves!) knowing what I wrote was going to be read, and hopefully helpful, simply cannot be adequately expressed. Or, at least not by my humble talent.

And, I kept writing. Every month, no matter what was going on at work or at home, I made the time to sit down for a couple of hours and pound out a column. Some have been better than others, but overall I think I’ve improved. For me, it has been a personal journey of discovery: Do I like writing? Do I like writing about Macs? Do I have anything pertinent to say? Do I have the patience and stamina to continue doing this? Am I really helping anybody out there? The answers to all the questions? An unqualified, resounding YES!

I found I do enjoy writing and have considered trying my hand at freelancing (of course, time is always an issue!). I especially love writing about one of my passions: The Mac. Yes, it’s just a computer, simply a tool, but a tool that has opened up a world of opportunity and information to me. That’s why I keep it around. 😉

Do I have anything pertinent to say? Well, sometimes! Like everyone else, sometimes I have a point, sometimes not. But it’s fun finding out!

But I especially enjoy hearing from My Mac readers. Why? Not to stroke my ego, but to make sure what I am saying has meaning for you. If my Helpful Hints are not so helpful, I should stop wasting my time and yours. But when I receive an email letting me know I’ve hit the mark, well, that truly makes my day. And, it makes it a little bit easier to pound the keys the next time around.

Being part of the My Mac team has been a uniquely wonderful experience for me. I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. To be included with such distinguished writers has been an honor. Tim and Russ, thank you! Thank you for allowing me to become part of My Mac.

Now, I promised some of you I would publish information you sent me, and I intend on following through. Next month will be a nice compilation of two months’ worth of columns, so look to receive credit where credit is due, and look for a ton of useful Helpful Hints to make your Mac’ing even more fun!

Internet Site of the Month:

My Mac, of course!

Barbara Bell

Websites mentioned:

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