By scoping out other mom and dad bloggers, I noticed that many are writing a year in review. So in order to keep up with the bloggers out there and provide a few ping backs for myself, here’s my own year:
At the beginning of the year, my wife and I came up with a plan for my blog. When I first started my blog, I did so because my playwriting career wasn’t going anywhere and I had a lot to say in regards to my life as a dad. My blog was simply a creative outlet for me. But opportunities arose and a tiny bit of income started to come my way. We realized that if we wanted my blog to go to the next level, we had to treat it like a business. Which is why we came up with a plan. The first part of the plan was to learn about what in the world that I was doing, so in January I arrived in Houston, Texas to attend the Dad 2.0 conference. After the conference, I was excited to start implementing my vision of my blog as a place where dads (and moms) could go to hear stories, get some tips, and find a variety of reviews.
And the reviews did come. Especially toys. After making contact with the great people from TimeToPlayMag.com while at Dad 2.0, and attending the NYC Toy Fair, I began providing my readers with toy reviews. At times my basement looked like a Toy R Us warehouse. Toys were scattered all around as my kids and I figured out what worked and what didn’t. We had so many that I stopped writing negative reviews and chose to only write reviews for the toys that I liked.
I also decided to attend the Book Expo America fair in NYC and began reviewing children’s books and parenting books. Reviewing books meant a little less lounging-around time, but helped increase traffic to my blog from people that probably wouldn’t have found my blog otherwise
My reviews did not stop at books and toys. I also reviewed other things of interest to dads, including smoke detectors, razors, clothes, Broadway shows, and movies. Not only did I enjoy writing the reviews for the occasional freebie, but it helped provide me with something to write about on those days when my creative juices were not flowing as freely.
When I came up with my business plan, interviews (giving or taking) were not on my radar. After being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal for an article, my wife and I were interviewed on their web show Lunch Break to discuss children’s self-esteem. And just like that, I met one of my business goals of being interviewed on TV to discuss parenting. (Even though it was a web show, I still counted it.)
I also had a blast interviewing celebrities such as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon from the WWE, One Direction and Morgan Spurlock before the opening of the documentary This is Us, nutritionist Phil Lempert, and celebrity chef Aaron McCargo. I was also able to take my kids to Nickelodeon Day of Play where I discussed youth sports and concussions with current New York Giant Terrell Thomas and former Giant Harry Carson.
Reviewing products and interviewing celebrities made for a great year, but the reason that I started blogging in the first place was to tell my story as a dad. And telling my story brought the most enjoyment, even when recounting difficult parenting moments. I found healing in writing about my family’s miscarriages and the passing of my step-father. Discussing the possibility of cancer helped bring closure to a difficult month full of doctor’s visits and tests.
I had plenty of joyful things to write about as well, from taking my kids to meet Mick Foley, a boyhood hero of mine, to attempting to swim next to Diana Nyad. Swimming with Nyad was a humbling experience, but as I said in writing about it, I do not let opportunities pass me by.
And that’s what I hope I did with my blog this year. When encountering an opportunity, I seized it whole heartedly. At times I felt intimidated or discouraged, but I kept on writing and looking for the next thing. My viewership wasn’t always wanted I wanted it to be, and it was discouraging when I put my heart out there for everyone to read, only to find out that nobody did. But I kept going with it and now at the end of the year, I’m happy with where I’ve been.
I’ll take that same mentality into 2014 and look for new and exciting opportunities. And when they arise, I won’t back away. Like jumping into the water with Diana Nyad, I might not be good at swimming and could make a fool of myself, but the possibilities of doing something good far outweigh the possibility of failure.
I hyperlinked the above posts so you can read the correlating stories. Here are some other posts that you might enjoy reading.
Falling into a Costco egg crate provided many readers with a chance to laugh with (and at) me. Saving Face When There is Egg All Over It
During a Nick Mom’s event, I was shocked to hear that Wendy Williams finds Stay-at-home dads “weird.” Wendy Williams, Stay-at-home dads, and Mr. Mom
After coaching my son’s soccer team into the playoffs, I was hit hard after a loss. Coaching After a Loss
Celebrating my daughter’s birthday is always a time of reflection for us. 7 Years Ago She Fit in My Hand, Now She Fills My Heart
A wrestling match with my son turned into an hour-plus extravaganza. Wrestling With Fatherhood
And finally, my bid to become The Sexiest Man of the Year for 2013 failed. The Sexiest Man of the Year for 2013: The Stay-at-home Dad