There was one point in my life where I wanted to write for a motocross-racing magazine. I always had big dreams of becoming a race reporter, traveling the country following the top racers and sponsors, and going inside the world of professional motocross. And over the years I have been given a few opportunities to do just that, but I never fully took advantage of them. I took an internship with a racing magazine when I was 20 and had a blast. I had a few short stints as a writer at several other magazines, but I never made a career out of it. I suppose I wasn’t wiling to put forth the full effort to being successful. I mean, I have always been a decent writer. I never mix up the difference between a flier and a flyer or other common grammar mistakes (But if I did, I would always hear about it on Twitter.). I know sentence structures and word placement and most importantly, I know racing.
But aside from being proficient at basic English grammar and writing and a good working knowledge of racing, the amount of time to make yourself stand out in the world of magazine journalism is tremendous. A few of my friends who stuck with it have spent years and years trying to develop a name for themselves in the industry—some have had moderate success and others haven’t. This kind of unpredictability is probably another reason why I didn’t pursue writing. I really prefer a more stable income where I can make plans and set aside savings.
All this talk makes it sounds as if I don’t write at all though! I still consider myself a motocross writer, just not for a racing magazine. After all, I run a popular blog all about motocross which many of my friends read each and every day. That in and of itself is a success. Not many people can claim that they do that. I’ve also written a number of local profiles of my riding group that travels around to different destinations throughout the country to compete. While we aren’t professionals, we do compete in a number of regional races where we often rank. If we bring home a trophy, our local paper is more than happy to run a spot about our trip and it’s a great time!
But for anyone who does want to pursue a career in motocross writing, the path to successful career really is no different than any other one. It involves a lot of hard work, long hours, and practice. You’ll need to be both knowledgeable about writing (obviously), you can’t confuse words like dieing vs dying, and you’ll also need to know a lot about the sport itself. You’ll need to make yourself current and keep track of the rankings. Be knowledgeable of all of the latest equipment on the market—and always have a current writing sample ready to send off to anyone who asks for one. Oftentimes you can make or break a job offer by having a quick, prompt writing sample that showcases your best work ready to go. And, as you write more, be sure to update the writing sample you send around.