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Blog // Travel
June 17, 2011

On Writing A Newspaper Column

Our local city broadsheet, The South China Morning Post has been going through a series of substantial changes. They’ve revamped their look and brought in many fresh new writers to spruce up their culture and lifestyle sections. One new feature is the Family Post, a weekend lift-out section aimed at parents. I like that the […]

Our local city broadsheet, The South China Morning Post has been going through a series of substantial changes. They’ve revamped their look and brought in many fresh new writers to spruce up their culture and lifestyle sections.

One new feature is the Family Post, a weekend lift-out section aimed at parents. I like that the editors are taking a broad approach to the topic; addressing both a wide range of children’s ages and rich cross section of topics (the last edition had a great article on music eduction for kids).

I was asked some time ago to consider writing for Family Post and on the weekend my first article appeared: On the experience of being a “stay at home dad.” Although I’ve often been uncomfortable with that term, since it doesn’t really reflect my situation, I was happy to write something based out of my own experience.

So far the feedback has been positive. You can read the article yourself on the SCMP website (though you will have to register and might have to pay).

Committing those words to print was a big step. I’ve written for magazines and journals before, but this is the first time I’ve been commissioned to write for a newspaper. Although I never aspired to be a journalist, writing something for a paper feels pretty special (I can still recall the feeling, some years back now, when I had my first letter to the editor published).

But, it also marks a big step because I was writing about the experience of being a father and, in particular, an expat father who has also been the “primary caregiver” in the home. That’s a perspective on my life that I’ve seldom explored on this blog.

However, it’s a story that might be worth telling in greater detail because it is an unusual perspective. I joked in the column that “no-one has written the Eat, Pray, Love of stay-at-home fatherhood.” Maybe I’m not the one to take on that task (though if any publishers want to talk me into it, I’m all ears). But, I do have a few stories to tell and maybe it is time to share them.

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