It’s been difficult for me to write lately. I don’t have as much free time and it’s hard to try and fill up a blank canvas when all you want to do is turn your brain off.
(Well, Matt, some would say your brain is usually turned off. Ha ha, voice in my head … Shut up.)
It’s also been difficult lately to be involved in this Dad Blogger community I am part of (see the green button on the right hand side of the page). Right now, they are flocking to New Orleans for the Dad 2.0 Summit. In fact, it’s all anyone in this little community has been talking about for the last month. And probably for the next month.
I’m not there. I can’t justify that trip right now. For many reasons.
But what I can do is shine the spotlight on a Dad Blogger who is there right now.
His name is Lorne Jaffe and I’ve never met him. We are Facebook friends and we’ve emailed a few times and we both read each other’s sites, but we’ve never shaken hands. I don’t know his eye color and he doesn’t know my laugh. Yet, somehow, through this Dad Blogging community we’ve bonded.
Lorne writes at raisingsienna.com and I remember when I first came across one of his posts via the Dad Blogging communal we share. It struck me as being so honest, free of the snark of the normal writers, and a real look at someone trying to define his fatherhood.
You see, Lorne battles depression. And he struggles with anxiety. He sees a therapist about this, but that can only do so much. The largest light of Lorne’s life is his daughter, Sienna, and his wife, Elaine.
We bonded somehow – maybe it was because we each have a daughter – but our writing styles are completely different. I look for laughter in my honesty. Lorne looks for light in his.
There are featured speakers at this Dad 2.0 Summit. The godfathers of Dad Blogging, so to speak. One day I plan on being on that podium. Hell, I wrote for a living and when I was a Major League Baseball beat writer at 25, I was the youngest full-time guy in the Baseball Writer’s Association of America. I have awards proving I can write. I’m just trying to find my voice in a different forum.
During this conference, there are a select few – only five – dad bloggers who are asked to read from their blogs. These are the chosen few. The ones who are not there to speak about how to make money or how to craft stories or how to reach a larger audience. These are the ones who are there on their writing merit alone.
Lorne was one of the five asked to read from his blog this year. That is an honor among honors.
It also, for Lorne, is a horror among horrors. He has been stressing about it since the moment his phone rang. And, yet, this weekend, he will get up in front of a packed room and do something that very few in history have done. He will open his heart and his soul to people he’s never met. It’s like blogging, but without the safety of a computer screen. When he’s done he has to look into the eyes of the people he just addressed and he has to actually see their reactions.
I wish I were there. Not for the New Orleans part of it – I did that this summer for my friend’s bachelor party – but to shake Lorne’s hand. To tell him congratulations and that he has one of the best blogs I’ve read. Ever.
Why? Because people like you and me don’t often get to go inside the head of what Lorne deals with on an everyday basis … while trying to raise a child. Yet, it’s there for all the world to read.
And while I would never purposely steer someone away from what I’m writing, I urge you to bookmark raisingsienna.com and read what Lorne writes. You’ll smile. You’ll cry. You’ll appreciate him and the love he has for his daughter. You’ll appreciate a different view of life.
And you’ll leave feeling like you know the man without having shook his hand.