CHOPPERPAPA BY KYLE BRADFORD
Kyle is the author of ChopperPapa.com, a blog dedicated to observations and discussions about single parenting, dating, divorce, manhood, and occasionally motorcycles and music. Launched in late 2010, ChopperPapa.com is not the average “daddy blog” about potty training, naps, minivans, or the best apps for toddlers. Once referred to as “Confucius on a Chopper,” Kyle brings a shrewd and candid approach to the weighty issues we all face (married or single) such as relationship communication, coping after an extramarital affair, co-parenting, relationships and the kids, dealing with ex-spouses, and other tidbits he affectionately refers to as “intellectual road kill.” A single father for nearly a decade parenting two tweens, he will soon be remarried and add another topic to his tag line – blended families.
Through his own mistakes, he is intimately familiar with the struggles single parents endure whether it’s answering our children’s questions about divorce, spending holidays alone, or finding love again.
In 2013 he launched a program called ‘Fatherhood Wide Open‘. A podcast dedicated to intelligent conversations on issues facing fatherhood and masculinity. He holds in-depth conversations with writers and thinkers about topics most important to men and dads.
1) Tell us what your blog is about and what inspired its conception? Tell us how a recovering backwoods redneck became a prolific blogger that has been featured on Huffington Post.
Naively, I believed, when I began writing, that I would be the next Oprah prodigy. When that didn’t happen – I am still waiting for the phone to ring – I discovered more authentic and sincere reasons. As the first of my circle of friends to become a divorced father, in the ensuing years those same friends who were now facing the same trials I had previously endured approached me. After discussing with others, it was suggested I begin writing about my thoughts on divorced fatherhood, dating, remarriage, and all that entails. I write what’s on my heart and mind. Issues that I read about or hear of that sit at the intersection of fatherhood, relationships, and divorce always grab my attention. Over the years my blog has become the storehouse of my thoughts on life and love. Hopefully I’ll write indefinitely and can, in the years to come, look back and see how much I’ve changed or stayed the same.
2) Who is your ideal reader and what do you hope they can gain from your blog?
I hope to connect with single fathers. What breaks my heart most are fathers who, through the ending of a relationship, abandon their children for the sake of fun, freedom, or fear. I want to inspire, encourage, and even frighten them into reengaging with their kids. I hope to connect with single and divorced fathers who are dating again and how to navigate those dangerous waters. Yet, I also hope to give a different perspective to single and divorced moms and offer a male’s thoughts on the topics they often wonder about.
3) Where do you see your blog in 5 years’ time and will the topic continue to be as prevalent?
I have no expectations for my site. I will continue to write with a heart of sincerity, authenticity, and transparency. Perhaps I’ll expand on a series of posts about a topic and put that into a book. With a remarriage in the near future, blending families will be a central topic of my future writing, but I will not move away from those same topics that have grabbed my attention for the last few years.
4) How do you continually find content for your blog?
I read authors who inspire me, most should add, are dead. F. W. Boreham and J. G. Greenhough are two very obscure writers/preachers from the 19th century that have given me new perspectives on numerous topics. My faith is an important part of my content. Current news and events around us can be wonderful inspirations, but always trying to keep any topic within the framework of fatherhood, masculinity, and single parenting.
5) Tell us about ‘Fatherhood Wide Open’ and how did it come about?
There are wonderful men around this world who are doing great things by they are sharing their manhood journeys with the world and I have been inspired by many of them. FWO is an opportunity to catalogue just a sliver of their wisdom. The program is two years old and in the 20 plus episodes I have recorded, I have yet to have a conversation where I didn’t learn something new. It is one of my greatest joys in connecting with other men about issues that matter.
6) What sort of content makes it to your ‘intellectual roadkill’ section of your blog? How did you come about naming that segment of your blog?
Intellectual Roadkill is that content that doesn’t fit neatly into fatherhood or parenting topic, it’s a catch all for anything that doesn’t stick, for example my article on Thanksgiving dinner or the dangers of the social media app Yik Yak. I chose that because, as any motorcycle rider will quickly admit, roadkill is something we must always watch out for.
7) What advice do you have for single fathers raising tweens?
Be there! As children get older the influence of a father becomes crucial and there may be no better time than in the tweens to have a father pour himself into his children. Don’t allow the shiny objects of singlehood to distract you from the responsibilities of being a dad. Childhood is fleeting and before one knows it any influence we have vanishes never to be regained again.
8) Do you have any advice for aspiring bloggers?
Forget the popularity, forget the idea of making a living at it, never mind the number of readers you have, or the likes, forwards, or comments on social media. If all that happens great, if not, great. I don’t believe in this idea that as a blogger we ‘write for ourselves’. If that were so we wouldn’t publish it for the world to see. Everyone enjoys recognition, but that shouldn’t be the aim of a blogger. Always and every time write from the heart, where your passion is, write on what you enjoy and that matters to you. But I must caution that when you do so you will likely experience what was noted by Catholic mystic Thomas Merton, “If you write for yourself, you can read what you’ve written and after ten minutes you will be so disgusted you’ll wish you were dead.”
THANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
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