This magazine gets the company's message across with house ads, but editorially, it's simply out to tell stories that will appeal in subject and theme to the company's customers: welders, and the people who buy welding machines. Well that's a fun fucking crowd to write for! Capable! Adventurous! Grounded!
Another thing going for me—and I'm such a ridiculously overconfident writer that I often forget this—is that the ARC people, editor John Bruening and publisher Craig Coffey, have some good story ideas.
I always think my writing will carry the day. "The paint shone wet under the September sun. In the end, of course, it would dry. But how long would it take? And would it ultimately look good with the taupe trim?"
When I actually get a good story, I'm shocked by how much more fun the reporting is, and how much better is the story I wind up writing. For the first issue of ARC, I was handed one of the best stories I've ever been assigned: to profile a young millionaire who gave up everything to start a roving debris-clearing company that cleans up towns in the very first hours, days and weeks after natural disasters have hit—at no charge to the community, and with no government funds.
Here's the lead:
Tad Agoglia is not a superhero. He doesn’t use fantastic physics and magical powers to hush hurricanes and ward off tornadoes. That would be ridiculous.
Instead, he materializes immediately after disaster has struck to begin rectifying the situation with state-of-the-art machinery and near-mystical skill and stamina. That is also ridiculous.
But it’s real. And the questions you find yourself asking Agoglia are the same ones a child eventually asks of a superhero: Where did you come from? Why do you do this? How do you do this?
Read the rest of the story, and remember what I so often forget: Even good storytellers need good stories to tell.