When I told you on Friday it was my last day with USA Today, there was a lot of speculation about why and what was next. Well, I’m here to give you those answers.
It might seem surprising/crazy/borderline insane to leave a great job voluntarily, but that’s what I did. Ultimately, it came down to this: USA Today needs a NASCAR writer in Charlotte, but I might not live in Charlotte for much longer.
My wife, Sarah, is trying to become a Child Life Specialist (someone who works in a children’s hospital and helps sick kids and their families). She’s currently doing an internship in New Mexico, and she’ll be able to look for jobs after she’s finished in May. It’s a no-brainer for me to support her career and I need to have the flexibility to relocate, because who knows where we’ll end up?
It also seemed obvious that it would be a jerk move to leave USA Today hanging in the middle of the season. What if Sarah gets a job at the start of the Chase and I leave them shorthanded? That wouldn’t be very professional, so this was the right time in order to give them a chance to replace me before the season.
So where does that leave us? Believe it or not, right here. This is my new home for NASCAR coverage.
Let me explain:
— My plan is to start a reader-funded NASCAR website and podcast. I will work directly for you, write only about what I think interests you and won’t waste your time with things that don’t. There won’t be any clickbait because, if this works, my income won’t depend on pageviews.
— You can help me by giving small contributions through my Patreon page. Patreon is like a GoFundMe site, except it’s monthly; it offers a chance for people to support someone’s work by becoming a “patron.” So if enough people pledge a small amount (say $2 a month, the cost of one USA Today), I could keep covering NASCAR for a living and hopefully still travel to races.
— This will not be a subscription site. I thought for a long time about this, but I don’t want to put my NASCAR coverage behind a paywall. That would punish the people who might not be able to afford to pitch in, and I’d rather you just be able to give what you’re comfortable with (even if that’s nothing). However, I tried to offer some modest rewards which I hope will express my thanks to you for investing in me (you’ll see those on the Patreon page).
So there you have it. There’s no magic job waiting for me. As Carl Edwards said in his retirement news conference: “There’s no life raft I’m jumping onto — I’m just jumping.”
I’ll be honest: This is the scariest thing I’ve ever done — I gave up a solid income, health insurance, travel budget, etc. — but it’s also the most exciting. I’m totally comfortable with the decision and it would be an absolute dream to make a living while remaining independent.
I don’t know if this will work, but I guess we’ll all find out at the same time!
If you’d like to learn more about how to keep me employed and watch a video I made about all this, please visit my Patreon page.