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Commentary: Six Thousand And Five

Three days and four stories ago, I wrote and published my 6,000th piece on speedonthewater.com. It was the lighter of two stories I produced that day, an Image of the Week featuring New Jersey’s Chris and Quinn LaMorte flying their 28-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran in the waters off Sarasota, Fla.

The second story confirmed that this summer’s St. Clair River Classic offshore powerboat race in Michigan still has the green light—a poorly crafted press release barfed out on social media had fans and even a few racers freaked out and thinking otherwise.

Not all of the author’s work environments are like a yacht in Key West, Fla., though he does prefer that setting.

For any reporter, 6,004 stories, which doesn’t count the features I write for our six digital magazines each year, in 12 years is a hefty chunk of work. But if the stories aren’t solid, who cares? On the contrary, why pollute the already junk-filled Internet space with more junk?

Volume, in and of itself, means nothing. As I’ve said more than once to Jason Johnson, my good friend and speedonthwater.com co-publisher, Anhesuer-Busch makes and sells a lot of Budweiser. That doesn’t make it great beer. The same applies to being a prolific writer.

I like to think I’m good at my job. But ultimately, you’re the judges. That’s exactly how it should be.

Of course, I want my work to be appreciated and enjoyed—I’m far from devoid of ego and I’m hyper competitive. But if constant love is what you’re after as a reporter and journalist, buy a puppy. Otherwise, put your head down and go to work.

Not that what we write about on speedonthewater.com cures cancer or solves world hunger. Johnson and I know we mostly work in a joy-filled, big-dollar toy store. Still, we can cause significant harm with shoddy reporting. So we take our jobs seriously.

As for ourselves? Not so much. We’re as fun-loving and goofy—and at least in my case a tad quirky—as anyone. Johnson and I mountain bike together once a week and, trust me, it’s something you’d like to be a fly on a helmet for.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for trusting—your trust is something to covet, and something to protect. We are only as good as our last story, no matter how many we write.

 And while it’s important to acknowledge milestones, it’s time to get back to work.

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