Motormouth: Larger than life, living the life, writing for life

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1712413276700 Motormouth+ +Larger+Than+Life%2 C+Living+The+Life%2 C+Writing+For+Life+ +Featured

Motoring writers shouldn’t take themselves too seriously, because the work they do is more like play sometimes and there are more important things in life than writing about cars for a living.

I like to think that at least half of the many automotive stories I’ve ever written in my multi-magazine career were rated somewhere between not bad and pretty good. The rest were either not great or pretty bad, but that’s another story!  

Luckily, this track record was strong enough for me to land a job with a regional car company, Motor Image Subaru Asia. This was soon after I saw the writing on the wall at my last car magazine, which had lots of torque, but not the horsepower to keep pace with the industry’s digital disruption and no extra fuel to burn in the pursuit of eyeballs.

Countless readers probably rolled their eyes at some of the offbeat features I created or directed, but I enjoyed putting them together. I hope there were more hits than misses, and just enough motoring information/inspiration to make every read worth the time and effort.

Ironically, I rolled my own eyes at my silliest story ideas, which I thought were brilliant but later changed my mind when I realised they were quite unwise. 

Thankfully for unsuspecting readers and my fellow suffering-writers in the business, most of those silly stories never saw the light of day. But more than a few made it past the editorial gatekeepers and reached the fun folks who like to be entertained. 

Writing about cars is supposed to be fun, because cars are fun. Work sometimes feels like play when driving/describing a nice new car, or shooting it, or simply looking at it. 

Waxing lyrical about cars, however, is not really poetry for posterity to be studied by our successors, whether they are waiting in the wings or already in the thick of the action amid, or ahead of, their predecessors.    

My favourite lyrics with an automotive slant are from the Meat Loaf rock ballad, Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are - “If life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car.” 

Words of wisdom, indeed. You and I, we are cars of different designs, shapes and sizes on a huge highway that ultimately leads to heaven or hell - some slower, some faster; some cruising, some rushing; some revving up, some breaking down. 

Some drivers know where they’re going, some don’t know but want/need to know, some are blissfully unaware of the route and destination, while others don’t care one way or another. 

In the grand scheme of things, which include writing about cars for a living, we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously, too often, because there are more important things in life than motoring journalism - such as being alive and well, being appreciative of relationships and opportunities, being mindful of people who are less fortunate/talented/respected due to circumstances. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1712413397655 Motormouth+ +Larger+Than+Life%2 C+Living+The+Life%2 C+Writing+For+LifeThe key to happiness on the highway of life is a sense of humour.

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