Damnit, Banovsky.

I need another epic idea like I need another student loan.

Earlier this week, I shared my April Fool’s plans, announcing we’re putting printed issues of Gearbox Magazine back in the crates a while longer. It’s just not feasible with all we’ve got going on.

Over on Facebook, Andrew Pascarella asked:

“What about a single yearly anthology issue?”

And then Michael Banovsky chimed in.

“Gearbox Yearbook (Yearbox Gearbook?) where clubs / events bring Brian out to events and he publishes everything once a year in time for the holidays.”

Damnit, guys. These are REALLY good ideas.

And you KNOW how badly I want to go back to real, actual print.

I told them these are both excellent ideas. In fact—just between us?—if I can get my shit together with the podcast, find a couple more next level gearheads to join the team, and maybe land a sponsor or two, I miiiiiight be able to make something like this happen.

But in that moment, I discovered a new, parallel opportunity. What if I went all-in and spent 2018 researching and piecing together an actual book on the automotive enthusiast zeitgeist?

Like, what if I said, “2018 is the year we finally get our shit together, and I’m going to spend the year interviewing gearheads like us to document what that success looks like, the various ways we chase it, and what it takes to realize it—so I can pull all the pieces together into the book I’ve been wanting to write for at least five years now.”

Shit.

I’ve still got Targa Florida notes in here somewhere from 2013!

And it doesn’t help this interaction takes place the day I see Andreaelbee mentioning she’s flying off to Wyoming to research locations for her novel.

I’m not saying I’m going to do this, but you better believe I’ll be thinking about it all the time.

This is parallel. Sometimes the hits come hard and fast.

355 dailies in a year. (I did it!)

I’ve officially done this for a full year.

365 days, 355 dailies published. I can live with a 2.7% failure rate.

(Sometimes even I don’t have anything to say.)

GRAND TOTAL: 54,874 words written since 02/15/17, 150/day on average.

Yeah, I know I fairly regularly missed multiple days in a row and then cranked them out in batches after the fact, but I don’t know how often I did so as a percentage. Maybe I’ll figure out a way to do that for the year ahead. Maybe thinking, “Mark doesn’t like it when I publish several at once” will continue keeping me on-schedule(ish).

So much has changed since I started writing these.

I still feel my stomach twist up when I think back to that one morning at LeadMD when I emailed almost 20,000 people to check out an important blog post that didn’t publish automatically like it was supposed to.

I don’t remember the blog post at all, or the campaign, or if any of the above was even worth our time—but I remember something important in my wheelhouse shitting the bed and making the company look careless, incompetent, or both.

Today, I feel like I’m finding my stride with these. I’m not trying so hard. What began as a simple way to write and vent and feel like I was still creating something when I was too busy for and too disappointed in GBXM has become a simple, easy way of honing my writing skills, clearing my mind, and more.

So many ideas. So little time.

Reflect on why you enjoy the things you do, explore different ways of using your skills in meaningful ways, discover new opportunities, act on them, and take lots of notes. It’s work life parallel.

And it’s worth the struggle.

Again, if you want to try this, I’ll help you.

There goes my April Fool’s joke

We’re not going to print this year after all.

I had it all figured out. Sometime in February, we’d stop mentioning print or issues. Meanwhile, we’d be secretly building out GBXM Volume 9, Issue 1.

April 1st, we’d make a big announcement that the 100-plus page print issue was available. And then, April 2nd, we’d be all, “Uh, we weren’t joking. It’s on Amazon and everything.”

Damn. I still really like this plan. Too bad it’s not gonna happen. Here’s why.

Figure it takes an average of 30 minutes to build each page in an issue, covers included. Multiply that by 80-96 pages, and you get 40-48 hours to build an issue.

I’ve never been so productive with GBXM as I’ve been so far this year, but that’s still only 8-10 hours per week available. As I write this, we’re six weeks out from April 1st. 8-10 hours a week times 6 weeks is 48-60 hours available, though, so what’s the problem?

Assuming 48 hours to build the issue and a maximum of 60 hours bandwidth available, I’d only have 12 hours left—two hours a week—to do everything else; schedule, record, and produce The Gearhead Project, write and schedule stuff for the website, write the original issue content itself.

It would be a real challenge. And for what?

I am so proud of the issues we published in 2014. I absolutely want to get back to them. We’re Gearbox MAGAZINE, after all. But I don’t think we sold 50 copies, total, back in 2014. Truly, the only people who bought the print issues were people on the cover—and their moms.

Add to that the fact we’d only make about $2 gross profit per issue, and you can see how issues just don’t make financial sense. Even if we sold 100 copies, that’s still less than $200 for 40-48 hours’ work. Maybe, if we had some paying sponsors in place, but that would only take even MORE time.

And I’m all out of time in Q1 at this point. Haha.

So we’re shelving the issues a while longer. I like to think once I’ve got my rhythm with the podcast, maybe have a couple sponsors onboard, and some additional talent writing for us, it could happen before the end of the year, but first things first.

Remember, our mission isn’t helping gearheads so we can make money, it’s making money so we can help more gearheads.

Wait’ll you get a load of GBXM|u.