While there I quickly found out that I was a minority. I don't just mean being a junior blogger in the midst of creative writing royalty either. I was a dude swimming in a sea of women...very powerful, successful, intelligent women. Thankfully I have been married to one for 14 years now, so I have been well trained how to withhold my tongue and think before I speak. Still it was pretty hard for a redneck with comedic wit not to make any "make me a sammich" and "I haven't seen this many dishwashers together since I was at Sears last week" jokes. I knew it meant sudden death, from them and my wife. And if by chance any of you gals from the conference are reading this and start to get all Gloria Steinem on me, I heard enough vajayjay jokes in 3 days to last me until the next conference...where I'm sure I will be easily spotted and shot on sight, being in the minority and all.
In all seriousness though, there should be more men attending conferences like this. There are some amazing Dad Bloggers out there and their voices should be heard. A big reason why I do this is to give voice to the fathers out there who work hard not just for their kids, but with their kids as well. Some of them choose to stay at home with their kids, which is totally cool. So many kids don't have a father they can look up to, and these dudes totally rock it in a different way. Then there are the dads like me who put in a 40-70 hour work week, then come home to take over for mom who puts in more hours in a week than can be calculated. You GO Daddy!...now go to godaddy.com and get a domain name for the blog you are about to write about your adventures in poppa-hood, then come to the next conference and make our numbers stronger!
I met so many awesome folks at Type A. Here's a list of just a few who blew me away:
Cecily Kellogg <=== I will now be following everything this gal writes. Her opinions are strong and her stories even stronger. She's a good mom with a great heart. If the pen is mightier than the sword and she is a Jedi Master with her writin' skillz.
Rene Syler <===She gave the ending keynote speech. She talked about how she went from being a successful CBS news anchor to battling breast cancer, losing her job and her huge comeback.
Tanis Miller <=== I've been a fan of hers for a while thanks to my wife. We are now friends...and I don't just say that because Tanis hit me for calling her one of my heroes. She hits like a Canadian girl by the way. And by that I mean like one who has been trained to hit a guy in the shoulder hard enough to numb his toes...
And last but definitely not least, this dude:
Charlie Capen <=== He gave instruction on how to make your content go viral. I have also been a fan of Charlie and his sidekick, Andy for a long time. I would call him my hero, but I don't want to see if he hits like a Canadian girl...once is enough for me. I will say this though. He is a standout among dad bloggers and a stand up among all bloggers. He and Andy are two very creative, hilarious and insightful writers out there on the internets.
One of the best things I take back with me from this conference is that when you blog you are giving life to your voice. It is, in essence, a work of art. Some choose to create their art just to get it out of their heads while others sell their art to make a living. Neither choice is wrong. The wrong choice, in my opinion, is not to embrace your art.
I don't mean everybody should get on the interwebs and blog (really, you should try it though) but do what you enjoy. Grab a paintbrush, write a song, make something out of clay (totally just heard Unchained Melody in my head for some reason). Whatever you do, get it out of you. You might be like me and have 4 or 5 people that enjoy your work (thanks to my wife, mother and myself for being 3 of the 4 or 5) or you may end up making a living from what you do.
Who knows unless you try.