One year ago today, as people across the land of the free/home of the brave gorged on hot dogs and watched fireworks to celebrate our nation’s birth, I sat with my laptop while my family napped. I had an afternoon full of independence and no road map.
A few days earlier, a friend had suggested that I start a blog to expound on some ideas that had been bouncing around my skull. I didn’t know what I’d write. Frankly, I’d never even read a blog before. But I figured it out and wrote this.
Was it great? Not really. Was it real? Definitely.
Faster than you can say “publish”, I was hooked. I wrote and wrote, wondering if anyone would discover my little page. I had two readers: me and my wife. I figured I had an original idea writing about being a father staying home with a toddler. Then I discovered the other 90,000 “daddy blogs” out there.
I never thought anyone would ever find my page. Especially when I discovered that Googling “Dude of the House” led to page after page of links to stories about the house from The Big Lebowski. I was going to be more alone than the popular football player in a horror movie.
I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing, partially because I didn’t know what I was doing. I wanted to see if random people would somehow discover me floating on the web. I didn’t want to force friends and family. Even now, they usually don’t read my stuff anyway. I wanted to get real neutral opinions. Every time I’d get a comment on a post, I felt like the excited waiter from that Chinese restaurant that is always empty every time you pass by, when he finally gets a customer.
It was this post, written at exactly the 6-month marker of my blog, that turned the tide. People related to the loss and utter void of losing a parent. It helped me begin to heal from that tragedy. Your responses showed me that I was no longer alone here.
Around that same time, I stumbled upon an amazing community of writers at YeahWrite. I don’t remember how I found them, but I wish I did so I could thank whoever led me to this supportive and inspiring collection of writers. I’ve met great people amidst the friendly competition.
A couple months later, I traveled to Austin where I met even more great writers. And they were almost exclusively all other Dudes. Some veteran bloggers took me under their wings. I learned some tricks of the trade and returned to LA with a renewed inspiration. Since then, my blog’s output has tripled on a monthly basis. So has my number of readers. It feels good.
Dude of the House is far from the biggest blog out there, but it certainly isn’t the smallest anymore either. I wanted to quit many times, but for some reason didn’t. And last week I published my 100th post, all of which have been read by tens of thousands of people. Like you.
If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for sticking with me. Thanks for telling your friends. Thanks for your comments and thanks for keeping me going. Sitting behind a computer is lonely, but I have the best subjects in the world to write about. And soon there will be one more. I hope you’ll stay tuned and hang out on the bus a little longer with me, my Little Dude, Mrs. Dude and our loyal watchdog.
If you want to join me for even more fun, come hang with me here: