For the past five years, Lebanon resident Clint Edwards has posted a daily blog of his experiences as a husband and father.
That persistence has paid off in national recognition for his work and the publication of his book “I’m Sorry … Love, Your Husband” by Page Street Press.
Edwards said the idea for the book came in collaboration with his editors at Page Street as they looked at the most successful pieces he had published over the years at his site “No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog.”
“A lot of the stuff I’ve had go viral over the years was where I admitted I had done something wrong. It’s funny and it’s got a good message,” Edwards said.
Edwards started the blog when he and his wife, Melodie, were living in an apartment in Albany and had two children. A native of Provo, Utah, he had earned a bachelor’s degree from Utah Valley University and a master’s degree in creative writing from Minnesota State University.
The blog began after his first efforts at writing didn’t work out.
“I tried to write a grand literary memoir about my father,” Edwards said.
His dad had struggled with substance abuse and was largely absent from Edwards’ life.
“He walked out on my mother when I was 9 and died when I was 19 from drug addiction,” Edwards said. “One of the better times I ever had with him was when he was in jail. He couldn’t go anywhere.”
Because of his experience, Edwards felt he lacked a positive role model as a father. But he also had an intense desire to not repeat the same mistakes. He dedicated himself to becoming a good parent and building an egalitarian marriage based on each partner’s individual strengths.
From the feedback he has received from his blog, he believes the desire to establish meaningful relationships with one’s children is widely shared by men of his generation.
“Now is a good time to be really involved in your kids’ lives,” Edwards said. “I’m very happy to be able to spend time with my kids in a way that I never had with my own father.”
When Edwards started the blog, he was a stay-at-home dad, which helped him focus on his writing and the topic of parenting. He developed the discipline of writing every day and over time he built up a sizable audience. He has approximately 250,000 followers on Facebook, with another 20,000 followers on Twitter and about 10,000 on Instagram.
“You’ve got to be really persistent and you have to write every day. I write two hours every day; I get up early to do it,” Edwards said.
For quite a while it seemed like the blog was a lot of effort without any real reward. That changed when one post he wrote went viral. This led to an appearance on Good Morning America and the opportunity to have his writing featured in the New York Times and the Washington Post.
He also self-published his first book “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.”
“It did well for a self-published book,” Edwards said.
With the success of that book and the continued growth of his blog, he was able to secure a traditional publisher for his second book, which was released this spring.
“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s cool to be in bookstores,” Edwards said.
While his writing career has blossomed, his family life has also changed over the past five years. He now works for Oregon State University as a Learning Services Coordinator. In that role, he helps athletes meet their academic goals while competing for Oregon State.
His family also moved to Lebanon and added a third child to their household, which now includes Tristan, 11, Norah, 9, and Aspen, 4.
Despite his own experience as a father and his success writing about family issues, the underlying unease he felt as a new parent has not completely disappeared. What has changed is the realization that many people feel the same way.
“Most people are just winging it, whether they are good parents or not,” Edwards said.