The big announce is out I am due to launch my next book in the next couple of weeks. I’m writing a book for working dads! But why am I writing a book for working dads?
In the next set of blog posts I’m going to take you through the writing process and share with you the hows and more importantly the whys of writing the book.
Why aren’t you writing a book for all working parents?
This is the number one question that I get asked. I thought long and hard about this, shouldn’t the title of the book be ‘Working Parent’ after all the website is called WorkingParent.info?
Yes that’s true.
It’s also true that this book is for either or both parents. I took a lot of advice on this, mostly it was split between calling the book ‘Working Dad’ and ‘Working Parent’. Really the correct title should be ‘The Breadwinner’ but as I point out at the start of the book there is currently no Amazon ranking for breadwinner, that may change.
About 85% of the book is meant for either parent – Working Mum or Workind Dad
The main reason I chose to call it working dad is that I deal with the challenges a dad has to go through with looking after his partner/wife (another point I make at the start of the book that I’ll interchange these terms) during the pregnancy, the birth and mostly after the baby has been born. I talk a lot about the new dad’s responsibilities towards his wife after she has given birth. I also talk a lot about how the new dad can help his partner recover after childbirth and make the mother’s life easier.
The other reason is that I didn’t want it to be too vanilla, I think that choosing a topic and drilling down to its core is what will make the book resonate with the reader, in this case by calling it ‘Working Dad’ I can write the book without breaking the prose and having to constantly be worried about political correctness (which I hate, or is that not PC to say?)
How did you find time to be writing a book?
When people ask me this, they are saying ‘shouldn’t you be looking after your own kids instead of writing a book?‘ or at least that’s what I think they are saying. I actually wrote the majority of the book when I was in Canada working on the Riddick movie, I was away from my kids for the end of summer and the best part of Autumn.
Now I could have gone out every night and enjoyed my freedom (although I’m not saying that I didn’t) but I chose to start writing this book.
I worked with a lot of other VFX economic migrants (all the jobs seemed to go to Canada in 2012 – now the Canadian government knows how to throw a tax break party) all of them dads, all of us were missing our kids. A couple of my American colleagues were able to shoot back across the border and go visit their kids on long weekends, it was a bit impractical for me to come back to England, the ironic thing is that I learnt more about my kids and about myself while I was away, I learnt how to communicate with them and make the most of whatever short Skype session time we had; either I had to go to work or they were going to bed when we Skyped.
When I did get back I had written a substantial amount of the book, I then got a job in Guildford and finished writing the book on the train journeys back and forth (which is also what I do for the majority of these blog posts in case you ever wondered how I get time to blog so often). So in answer to those people, I wrote the book in my own time, none of my time was sacraficed with the kids at all.
But every dad and every job is different, how is your book going to address so many differing situations?
Yes every dad is different, every job is different, every family is different. I’m writing a book that is ‘primal’ that is while I do go into specifics of how to handle your day, balance you job and your children which are all unique, what is common between all dads are concepts of time, money and most of all balance.
It doesn’t matter where you live, what colour you are, what job you do we all share these same basic parameters with a common goal of wanting to do our best for our children.
Of course you can’t write a how to book for every parenting and work variant, this is more a ‘why’ book.
What about SAHDs, think your book is too good for them do you?
Not at all, I actually really admire the SAHDs, in fact I aspire to be one myself. Part of the reason I wrote this book is that we need more dads involved in raising thier children. I actually think SAHDs are really successful, I think most of us are working way too many hours. In my book I talk about why working long hours, late nights and weekends are unproductive and how it does more damage than good to your career, your family and your health. My aim for the book is to show dads how they can be successful in their careers and not sacrifice any time away from their children.
What makes you so qualified to talk about being successful, you’re not a big shot?
Umm, I just tend to smile and nod politely, yes it’s true I don’t work in the city for a big bank and yes I only have one car (it’s not even a Porsche either). The true measure of success is the person who can do what he/she wants to do and get paid well for it. For me that means getting paid to be a lead/senior VFX artist on three Harry Potter movies, Batman Begins, Pirates! and Riddick, as well as leading teams on the London 2012 Olympics, Brink, Flashpoint and Fable and directing cinematics, short films and animation is a pretty good measure of success.
That is what I’m pushing in my book, you can be a success and do what you want to do without sacraficing all your time away from your young family.
Full write up of how I did it here – http://digitopiafilm.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/launching-vfx-book-to-number-1-best.html)
You can see some of the short films I’ve directed on my VFX blog – http://digitopiafilm.blogspot.co.uk/p/directors-filmography.html
Really none of this is as important as the bond that I have with my kids and that yes it is possible to have a succesful career (however you measure that) and be there to raise your children yourself – that is what my new book is about.
Look out for the next blog post where I will talk about how I came up with the concept for the book.
Thanks so much for reading.