In this blogging awards season, together with whatever convincing narratives we tell ourselves about the validity of blogging awards, winning validates us. It says that what we have done in this time, in this place on our blog matters.
This is especially important I think if we live with normal people and not bloggers. Normal people who get (or don’t get) the passion for our blog, but who undoubtedly need us to look up from a computer screen now and again to pay them some attention. Maybe a meal needs cooking, or the Headteacher needs ringing or someone just wants our blasted attention when all we would rather be doing is, well, this.
Winning justifies the time we must necessarily take away from friends, family and loved ones when we are selfishly working on our blogs. (Yes, whether stated, implied or inferred, some of us blog in an environment where the word ‘selfish’ lingers in the air like day-old pan fried fish.)
In my case, I am luckier and unluckier than most. My children are away at school or university and/or earning livings. My time then is mostly my own. However, I am unluckier than most bloggers because that precious and unfettered time is only possible because my husband died; time I would have happily divided between blogging and coupledom. That said, it is doubtful whether my personal blog would exist had Bronnie not died. It exists solely to retain the me that was me when I was with him. The unashamed, un-edited and bonkers me – the me he loved.
Your reasons for your own blog may not be as brutal as mine, but I wager is just as important. Maybe you were told you would never amount to much; or is a creative escape from 9-5 mediocrity; or a route through to earning much needed extra income; maybe you need to prove to yourself or ‘them’ you can write, take good pictures, craft or (insert your own reasons here). And in the beginning that importance was all that mattered with little thought of parading your efforts onto any competition stage.
Some of us may even have kept our first blogging endeavours a dirty little secret, afraid to expose our authentic thinking to a world that might judge us ill-informed, ill-written or poorly educated. But boy, when we Fosbury flop over that particular mental hurdle, our blog transcends pandering to the masses into something magical.
In that wondrous corner of the internet Chez Us, we transform and strive less and less for the world’s understanding as we poke and prod to comprehend our own beliefs, hopes and fears. And when that poking and prodding hurts but doesn’t kill us, we venture further into that rabbit hole until we are no longer ashamed of what we may find there. Okay, if not totally brave, we are certainly less afraid. We may even have found self-esteem for the very first time through our blog.
For months and years we take the time to get better at this blogging lark until we articulate and illustrate better our creative abilities. We eventually graduate to take immense pride in a blog we’ve created and nurtured into the polished work it is today. Privately we blast false deference to hell, knowing we hit that ‘publish’ button each and every time because we deem our work to be, well, you know, bloody good.
Surely there must be something to show for all that hard work. Something to put on the mantlepiece to justify the hard work and precious time taken away from family and friends. Something to show we – I mean our blog – amounted to something. Oh, wait, there is.
That is why not winning that blogging award will always hurt.