What you get out of life depends on what you put into it. For ten years the writers, photographers, video folk, and podcasters of Hooniverse have put in a lot of hard work. We’ve invested large percentages of our lives in the site and its readers, for the love of all things automotive and “the craft”. I have learned so much from writing here that I carry on into every day of my life. Like many others whom I respect greatly in this industry, I’ve managed to spin years of sweat equity digging in the blog mines of Hooniverse into a semi-respectable career as a freelance automotive writer. I am eternally grateful to my editors here at the house of Hoon for helping me develop the tools I needed to write more gooder.
A decade ago I was fresh out of college in the depths of the worst economic recession in two generations. I found a job as a peon selling Porsche parts over the phone under the thumb of a slavedriving sociopath. I hated that job with a passion, and took up writing on nights and weekends as a way to detach myself from this hellish workplace, to cope with the anger and depression that comes with being overworked and underpaid. Through a co-worker I was introduced to Kamil Kaluski. At the time he was running the now-just-a-twitter-handle CarGuyDad.com and I made enough of an impression (mostly that I agreed to write for free) to gain a spot on the team. A couple of years later, when CGD content migrated over to Hooniverse, Kamil, the incredible Greg Kachadurian, and I came as a package deal. Obviously Hooniverse benefited, as all three of us have since won Pulitzers (HAH!).
With every new piece I wrote for this site, I gained a little confidence and a little skill. Through the hundreds of contributions I made here, I eventually developed something of a name for myself. Kamil sent me on my first press trip to a Ford connected car conference. I occasionally went on other new car launches, usually the un-fun ones that Jeff didn’t want to do [Editor’s Note – This is totally true], like the Nissan Kicks and Toyota Avalon. I met a slew of other folks just as car-obsessed as me on these events, people who do this job to appease their enthusiasm more than to make ends meet. Through this network of car bozos, I met a lot of people I now call friends. For years I took very limited vacation time from my regular job to facilitate going on these trips, and as a result didn’t have a proper vacation from the time I graduated college in 2009 until my honeymoon in 2015.
I won’t bore you with the full history and details, but I’ve now been a full-time writer for almost three years. A stint at The Drive allowed me to get out from under the slog of my day job, and make that transition, which morphed into a slew of work for various Internet Brands sites and a handful of magazines, before landing at Jalopnik where I currently run the night blog desk and do long-form reviews and travel pieces. Concurrent to all of this, I’ve spent the last six years contributing at the Porsche site FlatSixes.com, where I took over as Editor-In-Chief earlier this year. Oh, and in 2017 I helped launch the 80s and 90s car show phenomenon Radwood, which just continues to grow as it spreads across the world. You could say I’m busy. I’m so busy it almost killed me, but that’s a story for another time.
Unfortunately a few things have had to fall by the wayside to facilitate this expenditure of my limited 7-day week. Where I once co-ran the Cammed And Tubbed Podcast and The DFL Show—both members of the Hooniverse Podcast Network—they’re now defunct. Where I once contributed hundreds of articles per year to the hallowed halls of Hooniverse, I managed just a dozen or so in 2018, and none in 2019. I have not forgotten my time and hundreds of articles at The Hoon, and I deeply wish I had more of myself to spread thin, but life doesn’t work that way. The cars wait for no man.
While I do have a college degree, it was in advertising, not writing or journalism. I’ve learned a bit about writing in the ensuing ten years, but when I first started Kamil had to beat me with a stick to get me to stop putting two spaces after a period. (I still have a Pavlovian twitch reaction whenever I place punctuation.) I owe a lot of what I am to the passionate and incredible folks here who not only helped me narrow down my voice, but who gave me a place to put my inane ramblings. I have always had very strong opinions, and thanks to Hooniverse I had a place to let my ego explode all over the page.
Thanks Jeff, Tim, and especially Kamil for giving me a place to start. I wouldn’t be the same [professionally or personally] without you dudes giving me a chance. Here’s to another 10 years, and hopefully the starts of so many more careers.
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