We are back with one more inspirational dad who is not only a doting father but a multitalented person. Let me introduce to you, Sid Balachandran – An independent writer, blogger, photographer and a graphic designer. Professionally an engineer, Sid is now a work-from-home dad who after almost two decades of education, two degrees and a decade of professional employment, writes for a living. When not jumping over high-rise LEGO buildings, convincing his son to eat his veggies, and generally running after his 6-year old son, he writes on his award-winning blog about equal parenting, social satire and generally about anything else he can put a funny twist to.
Sid, Independent writer and blogger.
Let’s get to know him little more.
What’s your background?
I am a telecommunications and marketing professional who accidentally ventured into writing through blogging. I took a career break about five years back to be a stay-at-home father when we relocated to India, and I started blogging as a way to document my experiences on fatherhood. Academically, I’m an engineer with a Masters degree in Communication Technology and Business Management.
As the founder of iwrotethose.com, you are a successful blogger. Tell us more about how the idea came up? What were the key factors for starting it?
Oh, I don’t know about being ‘successful’. As previously mentioned, my foray into blogging was quite accidental. Like you’d probably imagine, there weren’t many dads who had taken a break from their jobs to look after their kids, so I really didn’t have many people to talk to about it. So I started journaling little incidents and anecdotes about fatherhood, bonding with my son and so on and tried to lace it with as much humour as I possibly could. Fortunately for me, it was rather well-received.
You are a doting father and take good care of your son. Please share some tips with other fathers regarding this.
chuckles Good care? If you ask my son, he’ll probably have a different story to say about that. About how I turn into the HULK when he knows which trigger to step on. Jokes aside though, fatherhood has been the biggest lesson that life has taught me. And, for a long time, I’ve maintained that your gender doesn’t really have to decide your parenting style. Your attitude does, and as long as you want to do everything you possibly can for your kids and be there for them, I think you’ll be a good parent, and therefore a good father.
You are also a famous graphic designer. Can you tell us something about your work to our readers?
Oh, I wouldn’t go so far to call myself ‘famous’. I’m more of a graphics hobbyist. Actually self-taught graphics hobbyist. Arts has never been my thing, but when I started writing, I found myself inexplicably drawn to graphic design too. Through YouTube videos and other portals, I brushed up on my Photoshop and Illustrator skills and people started liking the creative twists in my logo work. I’ve also helped a few fellow bloggers with redesigning their websites and online portfolio of projects.
You don so many hats. It’s inspiring. What is your favourite work out of everything you do and why?
To be fair, I think we all juggle a lot of different hats. Some were forced to; others we sort of do it because we enjoy doing it. I don’t think I could pick one ‘hat’ that I enjoy wearing the most. The different hats take away that monotony that you could sometimes face when you’re doing just a single role. So yeah, more hats the merrier, but if I had to pick, I’d say I enjoy photography the most, followed closely by writing.
What is your inspiration or where do you get inspiration for all the work you do? What do you like writing the most?
I think this may well be a cliché, but I try and ‘borrow’ inspiration from everything around me. Most of my writing is based on my observations of people/things/activities around me, including the things that my son does. The same goes for photography and graphic design. I most enjoy writing humour – I think life’s too short to be glum and serious all the time, and humour is quite a good self-defense mechanism for me when I feel really low. Plus, it makes people laugh. Sometimes, anyway.
What is your writing routine and how much time do you take to write a piece and post it on your blog?
It’s best that I am honest and upfront, and state for the record that I haven’t really been writing much lately. However, when I do write, I usually cut off from the rest of the world, including my family. I write best when I’m alone, and for some reason in a dark room. I find that brightly lit rooms tend to distract me. Once I have the idea for a post, an article or a story, I usually take about a few hours to write it, edit it and it usually goes on the blog within 24 hours. But I confess, sometimes procrastination gets the better of me.
What do you like doing besides writing?
I enjoy writing, mostly because it offers me this really creative way to get my thoughts across to people. I suck (pardon my language) at making small talk and conversation in real-life, so writing is a great way for me to express myself. Aside from writing, I find photography is what drives me, along with reading – although, these days I seem to be reading more kids books for my son. I enjoy enacting the scenes from the book with my son, and we sort of dramatise the whole thing.
Most important tip for other bloggers or for other dad entrepreneurs.
I know we don’t generally like people doling out advice, so think of what I’m about to say as sort of a general guideline. Blog or Write regularly, but also be open to constructive feedback. And if you’re working from home, get a schedule. The biggest challenge is learning to separate your personal life and your blogging/writing time. They tend to get all muddled up sometimes.
What is your vision? Share any future plans you have.
At this point, my only vision is to keep writing more frequently. I’ve been stuck in a bit of rut, health-wise, and I’m slowly getting into a better space. I’d also like to complete the two manuscripts that I have pending and hope to find good publishers for them.
I enjoy interviewing different people for this series as it feels good to connect with so many creative people. Sid and all his work are inspirational. I am sure those of you who have been trying to follow your passions but are not able to do it, must be motivated after reading this interview.