The Lucky Winner
My fifth, and final, column is now up at the San Diego Reader. I kind of wrap things up on the whole stay-at-home dad experience with a few thoughts on memories and being a good father.
Now that my stint as a magazine columnist is over, I can finally reveal my incredulity at the whole situation. When the editor first contacted me, my reaction was, "You want to pay me what?! For what?!" I am not a writer (you all knew that already). I've had a bit of training in radio news and business writing, but the key concept I learned was to keep it short and simple. No big words, no descriptions... Get to the point, quick! I had a professor in college who would read our work and, no matter how short it was, throw it back at us demanding that it be leaner. Dr. Del Mar, wherever you are, thanks for making me feel guilty about writing too many words.
And that was the problem with The Reader... They wanted something in the neighborhood of 800 to 900 words and I usually average about 200 to 300 words with my blog posts. I was able to cobble together some thoughts from previous posts and expand upon them, but trying to come up with original material that was actually long enough was not easy for me. I kept hearing Dr. Del Mar telling me, "If you can't get your point across in two sentences, then don't bother!"
But I got through it, and I think one or two of my columns made some sense. I still had to wonder why exactly the editor chose me, of all the millions of bloggers out there, to reward with a nice little payday. I knew it wasn't my writing ability that attracted her to my blog. She finally told me that they had been looking for a stay-at-home dad to feature. She must not have looked very hard, I thought. There are dad bloggers out there who are a lot more literate, funny, creative, clever, serious, and analytical than me. I'm also nowhere near being as hip, cool, or up-to-date as some of the popular dad blogs.
So why the heck did she pick me? Ahhh, they were trying to kill two birds with one stone. They wanted a blogger from Idaho. Seeing as how I'm the only stay-at-home dad blogger in the entire state of Idaho (that I know of)... Ding ding ding! I was the lucky winner.
After a lifetime of being the odd man out, last player picked, third wheel, etc., it sure felt good to actually be wanted for something, even if I was the only choice available. I hope somebody enjoyed my writing... It was an interesting experience, and a good exercise for my brain. Now I can sit back and relax, knowing that this kind of thing will probably never ever happen to me again.