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Writer Dad

More than the name of my first book, Writer Dad was also the name of my first blog. I had no idea what I was doing back then, so I did it with all of my heart.

Cindy and I were running a preschool at the time. After getting bored reading the same books to our fourteen students (all under five) every day, I wrote my own little ditties. Short and rhythmic. Equal parts Seuss, Silverstein, and Eminem, minus the vulgarity, of course.

Despite the lack of pictures, and some complicated words, the children memorized many of these poems, requesting them by name and reciting them out loud.

I gathered a couple dozen together, and submitted them to a literary agency. After thirteen weeks, I got a response that changed my life.

We’re sorry, Mr. Platt. We love the work, but find your vocabulary is too rich for children. 

Fuck. That.

I had zero objection to the rejection, understanding in a blink that the market as it existed at the time would not support my style of writing for children. But I also called bullshit. Because children’s minds are elastic. If we trust them with intricate expression, they can construct bridges to new worlds of understanding.

So I bought the domain writerdad dot com and started posting anonymously on July 17, 2008. The tagline of that site was: Life’s better with the right words. 

To this day, I live my life by that credo.

Over the next two years, I wrote a post almost every day, through the best and worst of times, as I figured out how to build an online business, lost our house along the way, moved from California to Cincinnati in pursuit of a dream, and shuttered the blog, three years before starting the story studio that changed our lives yet again.

After founding Sterling & Stone and moving to Austin, I chronicled the prior years with a series of essays in a collection named after the blog. That book was never intended for public consumption. I wrote it for Cindy and our children.

But Johnny asked if he could read it. Then he finished and said, “This is amazing, dude. It’s inspiring as fuck, and people need to read it. I’ll have to punch you in the dick if you don’t publish it.”

A dick-punch did not sound awesome, and I got Johnny’s point. So I published the book, even though I found the idea of putting a memoir out there while still in my thirties embarrassingly grandiose.

Johnny was right: Writer Dad had meaning for some of the people who read it. My primary goal as an author is to make people feel or think, so mission accomplished.

I just went to Amazon so I could get the book description for you, and found this review at the top of the pile. I found it touching and wanted to share:

I haven’t even finished reading this wonderful little book yet (am almost done), but just HAD to post a review. I’ve read everything that Sean has written (that I’m aware of anyway), and have always found his style of writing to be fascinating. Most authors stick to one genre, but he can switch from horror to comedy to business like greased lightning and you eagerly devour everything he puts out and beg for more. He has a way with words that is very rare.

This book goes into his background, introductions to his family, how and why he became a writer, the struggles he and his family went through, trials, tribulations, successes and joy. No holds barred! Down and dirty, nitty-gritty. It feels as if he’s sitting right there on the couch with you, telling you his life story. Totally engaging and honest. There are parts where you giggle-snort and chuckle, parts where you cry (literally). Parts that make you go “Awwww!” and parts that make you go “Well, crap!” Parts where you want to help thread the Morning Glories through the fence. Parts where you want to just give the whole family a huge hug (and a decent Mexican meal)! Parts where you cheer! Parts where you know if his Mom reads it, he’s in BIG trouble!

Sometimes you want to slap him upside the head for being so stupid (it’s ok, he admits he was at times!) and other times you sit there gob-smacked at what he manages to accomplish. Going through one of his days with him will utterly exhaust you…how he does it is beyond me. He’s brutally honest about himself and his faults, but also determined not to fail, come hell or no money! An endearing level of confidence brings him back from the brink time after time.

A truly engaging book. A testament to perseverance and the will to succeed. Motivating to me personally. Sean, you should be proud of not only this book but yourself, your family, your dreams and what you’ve accomplished so far. With you being as young as you are and with such a brilliant future ahead of you, I can’t wait to see what else great your way comes.

P.S. Give Cindy and the kids a hug from me, since I kinda like know tons of stuff about them now! LOL.

This is not a book I ever intended to make money on. If you would like to read Writer Dad, you can download it here, no email address required.