The distinction in these pages between creative nonfiction and journalism is that the latter is fact-based reporting, even in the case of reviews, and the former is truth-seeking narrative. It’s all nonfiction, and it’s all after a kind of truth. Straddling the conditional line between the two, messy and misunderstood, is the blog.
I don’t like the word “blog”–it sounds like something coming out of inappropriate company at the dinner table. I do like the form, in its literary and newsworthy applications. Long before I was a father and teacher of nonfiction, I enjoyed reading and writing short essays, the kinds of personal narratives you see on the back pages of the New York Times Magazine (and many other places before the necessary decline of the memoir). I spent more time trying to place the short essays than writing them. I wanted to talk about being a dad, I wanted to talk about books, so I started blogging, first with the Examiner to complement my freelancing, then on my own to talk about this strange and wonderful experience of being a dad.
Now I’m the editor of the Dads & Families section of The Good Men Project, a multimedia company launched in 2009 to explore the notion of manhood and all its permutations in the 21st Century. It’s been called “a cerebral, new media alternative” to glossy men’s magazines. The blog is all grown up.