I don’t have a plan. I have some business cards (and boy, are they nifty), and I know when I have to be on-stage Friday morning. I also know that I’m sandwiched between the mayor of Houston and the opening keynote speaker, Jeff Pulver.
But they all said I need a plan. This is my first blogger conference, the second annual Dad 2.0 Summit in Houston, Texas. I’m going because I submitted a blog post when they did a call for submissions for Spotlight Bloggers. They asked me to come, and asked me to read this post instead. I was blown away when they asked, and I consider it one of the great writing honors of my long and illustrious blogging career. Which began in earnest on Feb. 21, 2012, less than a year ago.
So, what am I doing? I’m going to read my thing, which will be over before the event even really gets started. I’m going to meet face to face some of the other Spotlight Bloggers, established dad blogging voices like Black Hockey Jesus and Whit Honea and Kevin McKeever and the pride of Canada, Chris Read.
I want to meet some other people, too. Writers I’ve come to admire. Funny writers. Poignant writers. Powerful writers. Men and women who know how to use the English language and social media to tell stories that matter. Stories about parenthood, certainly, but stories about life. These are writers who make me want to write better.
I want to meet them.
But I also want to meet Doug French, founder of the Dad 2.0 Summit and the guy who sent me the email telling me my work had been chosen. Doug seems pretty cool. I want to meet him.
I want to meet so many others, too. The guys from DadCentric, including the inimitable Jason Avant (the blogger, not the receiver) and Andy Hinds (the brilliant, brawling everyman behind Beta Dad blog). There are people I want to meet that I’m not even going to mention here, because I don’t want to jinx it. I don’t know if I’m invited to karoake, and I’m not going to invite myself. But apparently there will be late-night karoake. Rumor has it, anyway.
Even representatives from the event sponsors. I want to thank them, for sure. There’d be no Dad 2.0 Summit without Dove Care for Men, Honda, Turtle Wax, and many, many others. I also am fascinated with the idea that there seems to be a groundswell among corporations to move away from the buffoon-dad stereotype we’ve always seen on TV and in movies. It’s important, I think, that high-profile events like Dad 2.0 Summit bring attention to parents who shatter those stereotypes, and share their stories on the Internet.
But what am I doing? Three days away from my family? For what? Damn, I’m going to miss them. They’ll be fine without me, of course. Yet, one of the main reasons I wanted off the baseball beat back in 2006 was I wanted to be here — always — for my sons. So … irony! I write a dad blog now, which I would not write without them, and I’m about to jet off to Houston for a long weekend of
boozing it up with a bunch of other mom and dad bloggers learning as much as possible about the craft and business of blogging.
Honestly, I don’t know what to expect at the Four Seasons Hotel (although I did stay there once while covering an NLCS, Astros versus Cardinals). The guys from DadCentric did a round table primer on the conference, so I guess that helps some. No, it definitely helps quite a bit.
No matter. So what if I don’t know what I’m doing, or why I’m going? I’ll enjoy finding out the why and what for in the coming days.
I’ll also be tweeting the hell out of it, in case anyone is interested in following along. Hey, and if you have any suggestions about what, exactly, I should be doing while I’m there … don’t hold back.
See you on the other side.