As a kid, I tore apart my bicycles to analyze each part in a deliberate, focused effort to make them faster. After school, I raided my dad’s toolbox before retreating to the garage where unsuspecting, perfectly normal bikes were stripped down to only their necessary components. I sawed down my seatpost, removed the kickstands, and peeled off every sticker.
“Brakes?” I thought. “Too heavy—they’re gone.”
It was an addiction that drove my parents insane. Despite being grounded frequently, I always found a silver lining. Not being allowed outdoors gave me more time to hone my “engineering” skills.
I never lost that attention to detail, and even as a journalist, I’m constantly looking for new ways to provide passionate, enlightened content. But solid prose is nothing without promotion. Through grassroots marketing and strategic SEO, my pieces have brought new audiences to the BBC, Her Campus Magazine, and New York Magazine’s Bedford & Bowery.
My pursuit for a better final product has brought me success in journalism. But if my desire for perfection has taught me anything, it’s this: I’ll never stop tinkering.
Sean D. McFarland