I don’t focus on the business or overly promote the books on the blog, because who wants to read constant self-promotions all the time? I wouldn’t so why put you guys through that? Instead I want to share a bit about what this work means to me.
What I strive to do is provide a bit of context for how you could approach this craft. I use that term instead of hobby, because craft speaks of a more deliberate, thoughtful and considered approach from what you expect of a casual hobby.
There are a couple of unspoken promises I make with this work. To begin, I promise not to waste your time when you come to read the blog. There are plenty of places you can visit on the Internet, so I put a lot of work into my posts out of respect for your time here.
The second promise is that I want to create works that provide as much long-term value as possible. When I think of long-term value I ask, are readers being served? Are they getting material that will stand the test of time, or will it become dated quickly? My primary focus is on helping you to develop your skills as a modeler because I believe that skilled, knowledgeable modelers make for a stronger, healthier craft over the long term. Once your develop good modeling skills, you have them for a lifetime and your capacity to pursue the craft increases. I also want you to have books you’ll be proud to have in your modeling library. That means I won’t just crank them out so I can have a bunch of titles in the store. I’d rather present fewer works that will carry their own weight for many years.
It’s a privilege to be able to do this kind of work. It’s a privilege to have well known modelers come up at shows and share how much they enjoy the blog, or that Detailing Track is their go-to reference. It’s truly humbling to hear such kind words from people
So how do the blog and the books help you? Based on the feedback and emails, the work helps you clarify what you really want in terms of your modeling. In contrast to the mainstream notion of stuffing as much layout into a space as you can, I encourage you to take time, step back and identify what truly interests you. Why do you want a layout? What do you hope to gain from it? How much is really enough –for you? As a result of such clarity, people often discover there are equally satisfying alternatives to a basement empire. This encouragement seems to resonate with folks.
Another aspect that many of you enjoy is the thoughtful questions I pose and the subjects chosen. You’ve expressed your appreciation for the depth of some of the blog posts and while not every philosophical post hits home, this suggests to me that modelers aren’t afraid to go deep on a subject. In fact, many of you welcome the chance to look deeper. Thanks for your encouragement.
Right now I am deep into the editing and page layout of the first book in Tony Sisson’s diesel modeling series. Tony and I are ironing out the rough spots and scrutinizing the seemingly endless number of items that need close attention before the work is ready for you to see. This is the time to slow down, focus hard and make certain the work is done the way we both know it should be. Anything less is disrespectful toward everyone involved, especially you guys.
I for one appreciate the effort and have found value in every piece purchased from the store or read on the blog. They, along with others, have helped (re) shape my view of the hobby, including a transition from “oooh, basement-filling empire” to “serious recreation of the prototype”. Many of the questions asked in the literature here I’ve used in conversations with others struggling with how or what to build. The key question: “What’s in it for you?”
Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad to have you as a reader. I’m following along with interest as you sort out your own choices. I’m glad the writing has been helpful to you.