“Hey Dad, what are you doing?”
“I’m emailing myself.”
Whit Honea used to walk around with scraps of paper in his pocket. Today, in the technical age, he is more likely to email himself thoughts, feelings on how a moment impacts him, book ideas, story lines, or potential blog posts that used to appear on those scraps of paper.
Yes, Whit Honea is a writer. In fact, he says he has always been a writer. Whit, who graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Creative Writing, says “writing is what I do for a living and for a hobby.” He adds “even when I’m not writing, I’m writing. I can be in the middle of watering the lawn and something will come to me and I have to go in and write what I was thinking.”
Over the course of his career, Whit has written for many publications and websites. Here is just a partial list: Babble, Fandango, Huffington Post, The Disney Blog, and Today Parents. Another place where you can read his work is on Honea Express, his Award-winning blog which focuses on parenting, entertainment, and humor.
I’ve been fortunate to ‘meet’ Whit through the dad bloggers Facebook group we both belong to. Whit has been a dad blogger for years. “Everything I write, I write through the lens of a parent. I can’t separate myself from being a dad. Yet Whit is “not comfortable with the term” as he does not like labeling people. He does however appreciate the community.
Occasionally, Whit and I email or speak. As I go through my current transition to a freelance writer, I find these conversations invaluable. Having someone with whom I can speak that is a real live writer and whose work I admire serves as inspiration.
Don’t tell Whit what I just said. You see he finds it hard to receive compliments about his writing particularly when the work is more personal. Yet, the father of two is very happy to see people succeed that he cares for and respects.
His most personal work is his first book, The Parents’ Phrasebook which was published by Adams Media, a division of F+W Media, Inc. “Writing the book was a relief because I had wanted to do it for so long. I thought I needed it to validate myself as a writer, and it feels good to have something that is tangible and point to and say I did that,” said Whit.
However, just because he has a book about parenting, don’t call him a parenting expert – he says he’s not. Whit says he wanted to write a practical book that is based on experience, and trial and error. “The book offers what NOT to do, because I have really been in those situations!” The goal of the book is to help parents communicate with their kids.
By the way, Whit is one of those people who has a million jobs and yet always seems to find time. One of his jobs is a Senior Account Executive for XY Media Group. They work with various brands trying to reach the dad market. XY Media Group encourages positive portrayals of fatherhood in media, marketing, and research efforts. He recently co-founded, along with Carter Gaddis, an organization entitled Dads 4 Change. The site highlights charitable action and raises awareness of causes and social good.
Whit offered me some advice regarding writing. “Some people say mean things but don’t let the negative feedback take a toll on your life.” He added for too long took he took the negative feedback seriously. “Put time and energy into things that matter,” added Whit.
By the way, Whit still does occasionally write those ideas he has on paper, or on the back of junk mail, or on form sent home from his children’s school. Just don’t call those pieces of paper scrap because someday he is going to turn those words into gold.