I’m happy to announce that Dad Blogs Exposed is back and with an all new format. I decided to go with a Q&A style approach to let the Dads tell you what they are all about in their own words and I’m excited to be able to share their stories with you.
This week I am happy to have had the chance to talk to Carter Gaddis from DadScribe. I met Carter at the Dad 2.0 Summit in Houston earlier this year and had the opportunity to share the stage with him as one of the conferences spotlight readers. In our brief interactions in Houston and the conversations that followed, I have learned that Carter is as genuine a person as they come and I feel lucky to have met him. Below are his answers to my questions about fatherhood and blogging.
CD – Why did you start blogging?
CG – I needed a creative outlet, so I started a blog. I spent 24 years covering sports for newspapers and websites, and the kind of writing I do professionally now (while steady and secure) doesn’t give me the same thrill. Plus, my sons are too young to know about that part of my life, so DadScribe originally was intended to be a platform for sharing those stories. It morphed into a catch-all for our experiences as a family, and my experiences, in particular, as a father. Every now and then I’ll remember a funny or poignant story from my sports writing days and share it, too.
CD – What can people expect from your blog? Do you have a specific topic with your writing or do you write whatever you feel?
CG – As I sort of touched on in the first answer, DadScribe has evolved. I suppose it remains a work in progress, but readers are as likely to find a photo essay about our family vacation to Cape Cod or trips to Disney World as they are a three- or four-paragraph prose poem about a sleepy Saturday morning. I have also branched out into sponsored content over the past few months, but I only accept assignments that are relevant to our family and can be used to tell good stories. I’ll also delve into politics and social issues every now and then if I feel compelled to speak out on a topic. Here’s one of those political posts, which happens to be my most-read post.
CD – What has been your biggest challenge as a father?
CG – Time is always my greatest challenge. I work a full-time job, as does my wife, which means our boys spend a lot of time in daycare, after-school care or summer camp. I envy parents who are able to work out of their homes, because even though I know those situations present their own challenges, at least they don’t have to spend two hours (or more) every day commuting to and from work. Those two hours away from my sons are the two toughest hours of the day for me. The math of it tears me up: 10 hours a week, 40+ hours a month, 500+ hours a year. That’s about three weeks every year I spend battling traffic, rather than being there with my sons. It’s tough, especially since I never had a commute for the first 24 years of my career. Then again, I was on the road for 100 or more days a year back then. So, it’s all relative.
CD – What one piece of advice can you give to a new Dad?
CG – My best advice for new dads is to ignore unsolicited advice.
CD – Do you have any long term goals for your site?
CG – I want to write well, continue to build on my modest readership, and see where it goes. I doubt I’ll ever become a “professional” blogger, at least not with DadScribe. For now, if I can tell stories that entertain people and make them think, I’ll be happy.
CD – What is your social media weapon of choice and why?
CG – I am most active on Facebook, because I like the interactivity and the universality of it. Most of my traffic comes from Facebook shares from my personal site, and most of the people I’m connected with online and in real life are active there, too. I’m also on Twitter @DadScribe, Instagram (dadscribe) and Pinterest, as well as Vine. Right now, though, Facebook remains king for me.
CD – How has blogging affected your life?
CG – I didn’t see it coming, but blogging has become much more than a hobby. It started when I was invited to read at Dad 2.0 Summit. That was an incredible honor and it opened my eyes to the depth and warmth of the parent blogging community. The weekend in Houston was transformative. Since then, I’ve had the good fortune to work with several brands and PR/marketing firms that really get it when it comes to parent blogger outreach. That has been a nice surprise, and it has made me want to do even more of that kind of work as time permits. Primarily, though, blogging has given me a group of friends that I never would’ve had otherwise. At my age, making new friends is not high on the agenda. This has been a good thing, though. A very good thing. The guys at www.dadcentric.com, many of whom I met in person for the first time in Houston, have been especially generous, as have my fellow Dad 2.0 Spotlight Bloggers (yourself, Jon Hockey Jesus, Kevin McKeever and Whit Honea). It’s deeper than that, though. I didn’t just find a “tribe,” as they tell you to do when you start out as a blogger. I discovered a weird, pixelated world populated by living, breathing parents who share many of my interests and help me see things from a different perspective. I want to keep that going and deepen those relationships, even if it means masking my inhibitions and utter lack of talent on a karaoke stage at the next Dad 2.0 in New Orleans — with or without a dancer’s pole.
I’d like to thank Carter for his time in answering all of the questions and I’ll be back next Wednesday with a new Dad to parade around for you!