Opinion Piece: A Year On (Street Commodores Editorial Column)

05 Sep

This is the 15th in a regular series of editorial pieces we’ll be posting here on the blog, originally written by Hosking Industries’ Ben Hosking for Street Commodores magazine and other magazines he’s completed opinion pieces for. This column appeared in issue 181 of Street Commodores:

A Year On (Written December 14, 2010)

12 months since leaving the big chair and things are going well all over.

Wow, how time flies! I made the decision to vacate the editor’s chair of Street Commodores almost a year ago to the day (that this issue hits the newsstands). At the time it felt like my life was ending, but I walked into the January sunshine outside the Street Commodores offices as full of hope and optimism as I could muster. It was a huge decision and one that could have had pretty dire consequences for the mortgage repayments had things gone south after I left.

As it turned out, my fresh start – my new vocational beginning – was everything I’d hoped it would turn out to be and more. Without stopping for air, I launched head first into creating my own business and started pumping the work out as fast and as well as I could for Street Commodores and for its various sister magazine titles.

The new venture allowed me to immerse myself in writing and hands-on creative stuff again – things I’d had to let go of to a large extent due to management responsibilities and deadline pressures that come with being the boss. I began doing graphic design work, photographic stuff and writing enough words a day to wear a keyboard out within 12 months. I even got to head out to a lot more car shows than I had been to in a long time; meeting new people and catching up with a ton of old faces I hadn’t seen in a while.

Of course, my leaving left Liam to pick up any pieces I’d left behind. While at the time I felt like I’d done all I could to prepare him for the job of stepping up to the editor’s chair, there was sure to have been some things I’d forgotten or hadn’t had the chance to wrap up properly. Being only in his early 20s, many would have been forgiven for thinking that someone so young wouldn’t have been equipped with the maturity or life skills to deal with that kind of pressure. Those people clearly hadn’t met Liam.

Liam had already begun his editor training by taking over the helm of our sister publication Xtreme Holdens around a year before and he was doing a superb job. By the time I stepped down as editor of SC I’d already trained Liam to take over many of the usual tasks completed as editor. This included issue plans, layouts, find and commissioning feature cars, budgeting… you name it. To say I had complete faith in his abilities would have been a gross understatement.

Despite all that, nothing can prepare you enough for the onslaught of being the editor of a large monthly magazine – except getting in there and experiencing it. A year on from taking the big chair and Liam has flourished and I couldn’t be more happy. Not only is he editor of Street Commodores AND Xtreme Holdens, he’s also heading up BAGGED magazine – a title devoted to mini tucking. That’s a lot for anyone to tackle at once. From the feedback I’ve been reading on the SC forums and in the magazine, it seems you folks at home are pretty happy with his efforts, too!

Please join me in wishing Liam a well deserved congratulation on his first year as editor of the magazine and for providing us all with such a bloody good read. Well done, mate.

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