I write, read, snowboard, play golf, play the drums and spend way too much money on go-kart racing.
I don’t watch TV, use social media — besides Twitter, very intentionally — or go to college.
I lucked out with parents that directed me toward a slew of unique things, beginning with motocross when I was younger and ultimately including everything listed above in one way or another. For golf and snowboarding, Billy Joel and Slayer plus pure joy on four wheels and two, I have them to thank.
Things Are Always Changing
At some point in the last few years, I decided I’m not going to do anything unless I’m capable of doing it consistently right. The result: No consistent sleep schedule because something comes up every other day, no consistent exercise for the same reason, no consistent writing because my “voice” is undeveloped and I don’t really know what to say anyway.
My (lack of writing) has been the best example. Should I write publicly every day? A certain kind of post on certain days of the week? Whenever I feel like it (translation: never)? Just one thorough thing a month? Ah, yes! Significant space allowing me to go deep on topics instead of writing throwaway posts — yet with a deadline. That sounds good.
And that’s where my thinking is at now. I like slow, considered, refined. Besides, publishing first drafts on things that only interest me is valuable to nobody. I may publish once a month, I may publish twice a month (first and 15th?), I may write every day and just hit publish when it’s done; on a schedule, I’m undecided.
But I’m eager to embrace the reality herein: I’ve done very little and know very little but that doesn’t mean I should sit and wait to be “ready” with a flawless, future-proof approach to everything. I’m 20 years old, for crying out loud. It’s time to do stuff and course correct when necessary.
All of this is to say that I haven’t figured this website (or anything else) out yet, I’m always questioning my assumptions, I’m always stalking a better way and that everything here is subject to change. Strong opinions loosely held.
I started a publication about motor sports with Ben Hinc late in 2015. It’s been my main focus up until now, late in 2019, as we’ve stepped back from the website since the last NTT IndyCar Series race of the year in September.
We wrote poorly about an excessive number of racing series at the beginning and have since evolved to cover only the premier sports car and open-wheel racing championships in North America. Covering two series instead of eight has enabled us to go deeper and have time to eat breakfast and lunch on race weekends.
That’s been nice, but it’s still not working. We removed all ads and third-party internet trackers for 2019 and implemented a reader-support model but, despite traveling to more than a dozen events and devoting tons of time to articles and podcast episodes, didn’t do a good enough job to earn money that way.
I tried starting school newspapers in fourth and fifth grade, I love the way a website looks filled with text and photos about racing cars and drivers, I endlessly research business models and the future of journalism — I simply can’t get away from this stuff. I have a few ideas and I think The Apex will be back in 2020, mightily updated.
The central problem: Can Ben and I author the best motor sports articles around to grow an engaged audience without sacrificing unreasonable amounts of time and setting unreasonable amounts of money ablaze? It sure would be cool.
An Old Soul
When someone called me an old soul at the end of 2018, it immediately struck me how accurate a label it is.
I don’t watch TV. I tried living a few weeks without social media in 2017 and deleted my Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts soon after, keeping only Twitter but not an app for it on my iPhone (it’s also blocked in Safari). I guard my attention like my life depends on it because it does.
I aim to make journaling and meditation daily practices. I’m a minimalist and have become ruthless about what stuff I need and how much clutter I’m willing to tolerate. I prefer slow media and refuse brainjunk. Mental clarity and the ability to focus are extremely important to me.
Across books (like, the paper kind) and websites I subscribe to via RSS, I read like a madman. I religiously use a calendar app called Fantastical and a task manager app called Things to keep me on track and productive. I despise wasted time and want to learn and do, which is why I opted out of college. Ironic, huh?
“Aaron, just get a Snapchat.” No. “You mean you’ve never watched [insert name of pointless TV show with roughly 324 seasons of 108 episodes each]?” No. I’m pretty serious about this stuff and make sacrifices many don’t understand. This proud old soul believes it’s the only way to be.