I've spent the past nine years of my life working on Mini Truckin' magazine in some capacity. I started out as a lowly errand boy of sorts and put up with a lot of crap over the first few years I was here. Eventually, that all changed, and I was given more and more responsibilities as time went by. I stepped up from a copy editor to an associate editor, then to a position as technical editor of the magazine as the staff changed and people came and left, as they will in a business of any size or type.
When I was asked to take over as editor of this magazine, I honestly had no clue about what I was supposed to do. I love Mini Truckin' and didn't want to be the guy who dragged it down by sending it in the wrong direction. For the longest time, I didn't really know how to be a magazine editor, so I kind of just went with the flow. As time passed, I learned what worked and what didn't. Mini Truckin' in unlike any other magazine that anyone has ever read in a whole lot of different ways. First, it's the only magazine I've ever seen that's only dedicated to one thing - mini-truckin' as a pastime and lifestyle. Second, the magazine is very focused on the trends of mini-truckin' as they evolve over the years. When I first tried to get a hold of the things that made Mini Truckin' tick as a magazine, I felt like I would never understand what made it work year after year. Also, when I first took over, the pastime was on a downward slide, with compact cars making a huge impact on the readers of all automotive-based enthusiast titles.
At first, I had a ton of people who read the magazine tell me what they wanted to see in the pages, and I did my best to make those things part of the equation. I was all business then and worried constantly about the magazine's direction, since it had previously taken a route that had alienated many readers. As editor, I had to make sure that we never again take the book in a direction that would make our readers wonder what magazine they were looking at. Mini Truckin' is the only magazine that caters 100 percent to the mini-truckin' lifestyle and gives it to you straight, no matter what. I refused then to compromise, and I still refuse to do so. I don't ever want to see the magazine alienated from its core audience. Looking back now, I feel that I took things way too seriously and lost a lot of the fun that can be had running an enthusiast magazine.
When Mike Alexander came to work for Mini Truckin', I realized that it was once again time for me to grow as an editor. I was firm in my reasoning and had once again forgotten how to have fun with the magazine. Business had become so hectic, I actually lost focus of the real purpose of Mini Truckin' - fun. When Mike showed me that I was being unreasonable, it was hard as hell to step back and look at myself. But somehow, Mike made me do it. In a matter of a few months, I was having fun again running Mini Truckin' as an enthusiast, not as a businessman or some falsely enthroned, useless editor.
This lead up to a moment last week when Mike asked me a question about something we were working on. When I answered him, he got upset with me and stomped away. Someone wasn't having any fun, and I realized it. After going to Mike and talking about how he was being the same way I'd been when he started working here, we both realized that we'd changed roles. Within 15 or 20 minutes, we came to see that sometimes we both have to step back and look at what we're doing and how we're dealing with each other. Sometimes, it takes someone else to show you the fun in your life. Mike's done it for me, and now I've been able to do the same for him. We're having a blast putting out Mini Truckin', even with our new tight production schedule and more traveling than any MT staff has ever done.
Just like other people I come into contact with in our pastime who have nothing to do with magazine production (a certain custom painter I know, for example), you just have to be reminded at times of why you do what you do. It's not for the money. It's not for the glory. It's all about the fun, and the journey we all take to have the most fun in our lives. Enjoy the newest issue of MT. We had a killer time putting it all together for you. L8R! You just have to be reminded at times of why you do what you do. It's not for the money. It's not for the glory. It's all about the fun, and the journey we all take to have the most fun in our lives.