For as long as I can remember I have always read magazines. As a jock-in-training my mother got me a subscription to SI for Kids when I was little, and I had the pull-out posters (from the magazine) of Brett Hull and Jeremy Roenick plastered all over the wall in my room. Despite my long, expensive, and arduous quest for NHL glory I always knew that magazine writing was going to be my niche in life, but certainly not in any overt or conscious way. Depending on your theory of the universe or psychology, you might say eventually my fate found me or that my subconscious mind eventually led me to this profession. Whatever the case may be, it has been four years of higher education at Rutgers University and (by the time you read this) seven years in journalism-the first year of which qualifies me for the school of hard knocks.
So for all the people who have ever asked, "how do I get your job?" The answer is read a lot of magazines, go to school, bust your hump to get published, and learn everything you can about your desired subject. But getting there is only half the battle. It is also important to have a love and respect for this profession and your publication. I can't tell you how many late nights we spend at the office editing photos, writing and editing stories, and working on our project cars as well as how many weekends we spend on the road away from our loved ones covering events and doing photo shoots. Without the passion and pride for your work, these long hours can be daunting and nearly impossible to bear. And let's be honest, if you are looking for a big payday this is not the profession for you.
From what I understand, being a shop owner isn't much different. Perhaps that is why I've met so many like-minded individuals at various late-model GM shops across the country. So why do we do it? I ask myself that question every month, and the answer is that it still excites me. I start planning for the next issue, the next feature car, the next tech article, the next project car build, the next cover, and I'm as giddy as the first time you fire up a new motor. And if that isn't enough, the moment I begin discussing any of these things with the GMHTP team they are all just as excited as I am. I think the reason is that we all remember the excitement we had, as a reader, when we went to purchase our favorite magazine on the newsstand (or for it to arrive in the mail). To be on the other end of it can be very thrilling, just like the day a shop owner hands the keys back to his customer after adding 300 horsepower.
The unfortunate part is that we don't get to see the look of excitement or enjoyment when our readers pick up the magazine, not that we haven't gotten plenty of positive emails (thank you very much). However, that is in part why we try to increase interactivity with our readers via our website, message boards, Facebook, Twitter, track days, and sponsored races. That is not to say that we don't also appreciate negative criticism either, as that can be just as (if not more) helpful. GMHTP has had a great amount of success in the past few years despite the economy, and as much as I'd like to take full credit ... I'm not the only one in front of the keyboard, behind a camera, or burning up the phone lines. With the continued support of our readers, advertisers, and staff we will continue to grow and dominate with impunity. Long live EFI GMs!