Sunday, 24 November 2013

Thanks Facebook, But This Time I'll Choose My Daughter

How ironic, I use my time promoting and writing about the very thing that I should be spending more time with; my daughter!  Do I dedicate too much time to Facebook, Twitter & Blogger?

Seven months ago I started a new venture.  I lay in bed one evening, the victim of insomnia, wondering how I could enhance my writing.  What could I do that might give me the opportunity to write more often?  Sixty-odd thousand words into my first novel, I grew tired of the endless editing.  Then in 2009 when my father passed away, I had a new-found energy to write a story inspired by my hopes for what lies ahead after we leave this place.  The birth of my daughter 10 months later stalled this new-found idea, and so it continues to sit and wait for my return.  The next, seemingly, natural progression was to write children's stories. I dreamed up the sweetest little characters, The adventures of Holly Hedgehog and Little Lilly Ladybug (C).  Two rejection emails later and I lost hope, putting them away for "a rainy day" (plenty of these in England I might add).  I was told that my stories are dated and old-fashioned...funny that, as Peter Rabbit, Roald Dahl, Noddy and the likes of The Wombles are all still so very popular.  The intention was to make it old-fashioned, I wanted today's kids to escape to a world of yesteryear where life was sweet, simple and free of the complexities of now...but the publishers knew better.

So there I was, lying in bed thinking about how I might continue my writing.  

A friend of mine has an amazing blog in Cape Town which she was promoting at the time (and has gone on to have amazing success with it) called Pretty Mint (click on it to check out her world of fashion, food and everything exciting in the vibrant world that is Cape Town). This got me thinking; what is it that I might blog about?  What is out there that might help others as well as satisfy my love for writing?  Music! I know, I thought, I'll start a blog about rating and commenting on music albums, but let's face it, this idea is just not original enough.  I went back to the drawing board.  What do I love most?  Well, I love my daughter to bits and I really enjoy my job, so how can I connect the two?  There it was, a not-so-bright light in a dark room...I'll write about the psychology of child development. Being a new father has been a wonderful, scary and overwhelming experience - maybe I can make sense of some of my daughter's behavioural patterns through the world of psychology and help others along the way - Making Sense of the Unknown Leap into Fatherhood...from one Father to Another was born. Over seven thousand reads later and I am still enjoying this new venture, making many new friends along the way.

So what's the point of this post then?

My daughter was seeking my attention a few weeks ago while I was checking the stats on my blog.  I was asking her to "just give me a moment" whilst trying to concentrate on promoting the very thing that needed my time and affection right there and then.  The irony! I had become obsessed with the statistics that were pouring in on an hourly basis and ignoring my muse. It dawned on me that I was taking time away from my daughter to tell the world about being a father (and the wonders of being a father) instead of enjoying that moment with my little girl. 

My posts are not nearly as frequent these days, and it's simply because I don't want to miss out on my little one due to the fact that I'm scrolling through my iPhone, obsessing over Facebook and Twitter; I guess there is a time and a place for everything. Leaving my phone at home when we go to the park is such a good idea for someone like me who is so easily distracted by everything else that is happening in the world except the very thing that is swinging or sliding in front of me, the very thing that deserves my utmost attention and love in that very moment.

So thanks for the coverage Facebook and Twitter, but this time, and always, I will choose my little girl.



  1. Bravo!!!!! Pity more people don't follow this advice.

  2. I can really relate to what you're saying here. It's so easy to get sucked into checking so many different things on a smartphone but I try to do this sort of thing when I'm on a bus or train and not with other people, especially our seven month old son. These sorts of technology can help to connect people who are many miles away but can also mean that people close together (including in the same room) don't connect or interact as much as they could.



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