We hear a lot about the “mummy blogger”, but to (belatedly) celebrate Father’s Day, we thought we’d give a shout out to stay-at-home dad Clint Greagen – whose blog Reservoir Dad took out the Personal and Parenting category in the Best Australian Blogs competition in 2013. Clint lives in Reservoir, Victoria (hence the name, although he admits the Tarantino connection is nice too) with his wife and four boys aged between two and nine.
His blog win turned heads at publisher Random House, who approached Clint to ask if he was interested in writing a book. His reply was easy: he would love to. And a year later, his “fifth child” was born – this time made of paper and given the same name as the blog that made it happen – Reservoir Dad.
For Clint, who began his blog back in 2008 when he started his stay-at-home duties, it felt good to receive validation for his efforts. “Yeah, it was just a great pat on the back and it’s sort of like, ‘Keep going, man, you can do it. You’re doing it right.’ Validation that I’ve got something to offer.”
The main question we wanted to ask (besides whether listening to his faves, Rick Astley, Nik Kershaw and Culture Club really helped him write?) was any advice to give to other bloggers who also hope to be published one day.
1. Have a little faith
“Never give in. If you’re passionate about it and you love it, you just don’t know when things are going to turn around.”
2. Use your words
“One thing I think about writing is to forget someone is looking over your shoulder. There are a lot of blogs that sound the same. I think the thing that I got picked up for to write a book was not so much what I was writing about, but the voice that I was writing with. It took me a long time.
“I’ve written five novels and a crap load of short stories. I think blogging was the thing that helped me find that voice.”
3. Tap into that passion
“It’s about locking yourself away and writing about the things that really get you going. I never think, ‘OK, how can I write something to get more hits to my blog’ — never, ever do it. I always write about something that might be going from one thing into the next at home, and I think, “God, that’s got to be funny, I’ve got to write about that.” Or, “Gee, that really hurt my feelings,” or, “I’m feeling very emotional about this”.
4. Your life is interesting
“Write about what’s going on in life, because no one else else in the world who has your experience; it’s you that sees the things the way you do. We can all write about the exact same thing but give such an amazingly different story, a different approach.”
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To listen to the whole interview, hit up episode 20 of our top-rating podcast So you want to be a writer. And you can find Clint’s book, Reservoir Dad on sale now.