Who is the oldest person you know?
My wife’s grandpa is 101 years old. No, that’s not a typo. He was 70 already years old when I was born. Sort of puts my life experience in perspective.
While Grandpa isn’t as spry as he was in the 1950’s, he’s still sharp upstairs and tells the best stories. My favorite memories of him are when we visit with our children and he starts sharing tales of his shenanigans as a kid. There is still a sparkle of mischief in his eye after a century of adventure.
Awhile ago my wife and mother-in-law started writing down Grandpa’s stories so that his memory is preserved for years to come. Sadly, not all of his wit and wisdom is documented. Grandpa didn’t have a journal (that I know of) and certainly not a blog or YouTube channel.
Thinking about this reminds us why all dads should be writers.
- Leave a legacy for your kids. As a dad it’s important for your kids to hear your story, to know where they come from, to understand who you are as their father and beyond. Even though your kids may stop listening for a season, your words will live on long after you kick the bucket.
- Discover your voice. Writing is a journey of discovery. At first it can feel awkward and clunky. Just like learning to drive a stick shift. But after awhile you get the hang of it and the flow of the pen across the page (or your fingers across the keyboard) is therapeutic and smooth. As you discover your voice you can more easily hear your words the way your kids do. And perhaps make some changes.
- Figure out what you believe. The act of transferring words from your brain to the page is an exercise in belief. As you read what you write you may discover that you don’t actually believe what you thought. At least not exactly. Writing helps you hear yourself think out loud with more clarity than before.
- Meet new people. If you share your writing (email, blog, book, social media) you will discover that you are not alone. Many other dads share your joys, struggles, laughter and tears. It is comforting (and at times comical) to have a community to share our experiences with. While not all of the new people you meet will agree with you, that’s a good thing. We only grow as we are challenged.
- Build a platform. You have something to say. And people need to hear it. If you write publicly you will discover that your words begin to resonate with people. Whether they are family or complete strangers. As you hone your craft, discover your voice, and meet new people, you’ll discover a tribe hungry for your words.
Writing for dads doesn’t have to be a chore or overly complicated. A simple notebook will suffice that you jot down thoughts and use like a makeshift journal. You can blog if you want or even use a dictation software (Dragon) to capture your words on your phone (backed up to the cloud of course).
The point is that your words matter. Make a dent in the universe and a difference for your family and write them down.
If you want to learn more about writing or building an audience I recommend Tribe Writers above any other resource out there.
It’s a course, community and set of tools that will equip you for success from the start. I’ve been writing online for years and Tribe Writers is the absolute best course by far. I was one of the first students and it is worth every penny.
I only wish it was available years earlier.