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staying true to the dream: why i’m not quitting the fast and the fabulous

I might be writing this more for me than for you, but either way I still need to get it down on electronic paper.

If I had written this post a week ago it would have said that I was going to stop blogging altogether. But I’ve had time to think about it and I’ve decided to not quit.

About a month ago I was contacted by the digital arm of a major network to contribute to their new NASCAR blog. They were even going to send me to the Daytona 500 to cover the event on their behalf, giving me access to stuff I’d never be able to get on my own. It was a huge deal and I was extremely flattered to be asked, so I initially said yes but then I ultimately said no.

Why the heck would I do that, right? Isn’t that what I’ve been working towards for the past 6 — soon to be 7 — years? It turns out it wasn’t.

This blog isn’t “work” for me in the traditional sense. I have a day job that is a real job where I have a boss with set expectations and responsibilities, a place where I’m working towards someone else’s goals & dreams. But when I’m blogging it’s a free thing, it’s mine. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. When I’m at the track it’s the same thing, it’s not something I’m doing for someone else.

They say that when you do what you love you never work a day in your life and that’s sort of true. Even if you love what you do it still takes a ton of effort and time and thought and sometimes it’s a pain in the ass. It’s usually the stuff that surrounds the thing you love to do that makes it hard but, whatever, the point is it’s not always an entirely blissful experience. It’s not as simple as the quote would make it out to be.

So in getting that offer, as awesome as it was, I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted. Given the fact that doing what you love is hard enough, I don’t want to do it for & with someone else. I didn’t want to let go of The Fast and the Fabulous. I didn’t want to spend less time on The Fast and the Fabulous and be something else on another site, and have to do what other people wanted to do. There was nothing they wanted to do that was horrible or wrong, I just didn’t want to go through that process. I didn’t want to float ideas, I didn’t want to ask permission, I didn’t want to change who I wrote for because their audience was mostly men. I didn’t want to lose the joy that I get from doing what I do, because it was suddenly a job overseen by someone else.

That all might sound like I was being a diva or something but I wasn’t. It was purely about me deciding what’s right for me. I’m sure there are a bunch of people that would want that gig and the path that it would set them on, but I’m not one of them. I love The Fast and the Fabulous. I love & appreciate the opportunities, experiences and memories it’s created for me and I love that you love it too. If I went down that path I would of had to abandon this place to some degree or all together and I didn’t want to do that.

All of this has made me re-evaluate my goals & priorities for this site. In the past it was about attending as many races as possible while trying to find sponsorship to go to ALL of the races on the Sprint Cup Series schedule. Well I’m done with all of that (sort of).

I’m making peace with my limitations. I know that I’m attending two races this year, Fontana and Sonoma. I’m not planning on attending any other races, unless something comes up. I’m also enacting some rules about the type of stuff I post here. I’m not doing free advertising for companies or NASCAR sponsors, unless it’s something I really believe in and it was pitched specifically for The Fast and the Fabulous. I’m not joining in on any & every promotion that comes along.

I’m completely open to finding a sponsor that understands and loves what The Fast and the Fabulous is all about. I think people give female fans short shrift, so it would be wonderful to work with a brand that is all about giving you more of the kind of content you want. I’m just not going to continue to spend money trying to find those sponsors. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s incredibly difficult to get people to hear you when they’re not ready to receive. It’s better to just do what you’re doing, be awesome and the right people & opportunities will find you. Every trip I’ve been able to go on at the expense of a NASCAR sponsor has been something they’ve pitched to me, and not something I’ve pitched to them.

So overall this won’t change the blog that much, I’ve still got content ideas for the site, and I’ll carry on for as long as this remains fun for me. I still would love for The Fast and the Fabulous to be my full-time focus but it has to be on my terms. If the opportunity for that to happen never presents itself then that’s OK. I don’t want to settle for what I can get, what’s the point of a dream if you’re just going to take the lesser prize?

I think that’s what this post is really about, just coming to terms with the fact that you can have a dream and even though you’ve tried your hardest it still might not come true. You have to learn to be OK with that. So I’m resetting my expectations and I know I’ll be so much better off in the long-run.

6 Comments

  1. Theresa
    February 19, 2013 at 8:55 PM ·

    Valli, I am so proud to call you my daughter! You are awesome, smart, intelligent, witty, clever and most of all the most honest person I know. I love your blog and through you I have become a NASCAR fan as I have said on many occasions. I pledge to help you/sponsor you to get to m,ore races. You can count on me. I believe it will happen for you on your own terms…it will happen.

    Sorry to be redundant….I AM PROUD OF YOU! I Love you.

    Mother

  2. Ella
    February 20, 2013 at 11:57 AM ·

    You are an amazing young woman and an asset to any endeavor you choose. I have enjoyed your blogs and am delighted to hear more will be coming. If I had advertising dollars, you would have them :)

  3. Kim
    February 20, 2013 at 12:11 PM ·

    That took guts. I know, because I finally got the chance to blog for real money a couple of years ago, for sites other than my own. I burned out so badly it wasn’t even funny, and my own blog has not recovered even today. It took what I loved and made it a chore – removed the joy from it.

    It sounded like a NASCAR fan/blogger’s dream, didn’t it? Thank goodness you had the insight to see what could happen without having to go through it, knowing what you really want and being willing to work (and wait) for it!

  4. February 20, 2013 at 6:29 PM ·

    I admire your decision. I don’t know if I could have made that choice. I, too, love my blog. I like the freedom to write about what I want to write about. I don’t have to worry about answering to anyone but myself. I found out about your blog through another site (Bad Groove). I have enjoyed reading your blog. I am glad you made the decision to keep doing The Fast and The Fabulous. Keep up the good work!

  5. Kate
    February 23, 2013 at 8:22 AM ·

    I am not a blogger;Just a reader. Since I stumbled on to your website a few months ago, I would have to say you have become one of the people I would like to meet before i go (bucketlist). This post clinched that for me. You are the real-deal and I have no doubt that your dream of being picked up by a sponser someday will happen. But on your terms. I love your passion, humor and honesty. I look forward to spending this season with you and The Fast and Fabulous. keep on keeping on.

  6. Lottie
    March 12, 2013 at 6:04 AM ·

    I am glad that you are not shutting down the site for selfish reasons (I really like the site) and I admire the fact that you stuck to your own vision and knew what would make you ultimately more satisfied.

    BTW thank you for this site. I have meant to say that for over a year.