I’ll admit it: blogging awards have never really been my thing.
It’s not that I don’t value them – I do, and I think awards such as the MADs (for Mum and Dad blogs) are fantastic for celebrating and highlighting the wealth of writing talent out there. But I’ve always been happy with owning the online equivalent of a little potting shed, secure in the knowledge that I enjoy what I do and that a small but select audience appreciates it too.
Having said that, when nominations fo this year’s LoveAllDads Awards opened a few weeks ago, I made a bit of an effort because I believe that dads are under-represented in the parent blogging world. Only 7% of bloggers in the Tots100 community are male, and the proportion in the upper reaches of the rankings is even lower. So the LADs Awards are an important bridgehead for those of us possessing XY chromosomes in what is overwhelmingly an XX world.
Basically, I’m a sucker for an underdog.
So, blogger that I am, I wrote a post about why the LADs Awards matter, scheduled some promotional updates on Twitter and Facebook to encourage people to participate and, yes, to nominate me if they thought I was worthy – but most of all just to vote at all because ultimately awareness and engagement is the name of the game.
I then promptly put it to the back of my mind and pottered off to work on other stuff (writing about Doctor Who mostly, as it happens) until on Friday night I noticed that the shortlist of finalists had been posted and, lo and behold, discovered that I had been nominated for Best Blog Post of the Year for my post entitled A letter to myself, from a father of three to a father of none. I was so chuffed to learn this that it had to be pointed out to me that I was in fact also nominated in a second category, namely Best Dad Blog.
I was even more chuffed after that.
So, to whichever kind souls nominated me, my heartfelt thanks. Looking down the shortlists for all six awards, I’m in illustrious company and – cliché alert! – we’re all winners in my mind and I’m happy just to have come this far. I may start crying in a minute and thanking my wife, my parents, my agent and my (fictitious) dog, without whom I would not be here today.
Any-hoo. Back to the matter at hand.
I am genuinely honoured that, literally, as many as some people voted for me. It’s enough to give a fellow delusions of adequacy, it really is.
Top tips for blogging award ceremonies
So now it’s over to the judging panel who will determine the award winners, to be published on October 19th. There’s no posh evening bash in London – maybe next year? – but if there were to be one, here are my top tips to myself on how to handle the event like a consummate professional.
1. Just for once, make the effort to wear clothes that aren’t covered in sick or snot.
2. Turn up fashionably late because now you’re on an awards shortlist you are officially a ‘big thing’, which entitles you to act like a diva. In fact, your adoring public (all two of them) expects you to act like a diva. Remember: WWJD – What Would J-Lo Do? (Or Justin Bieber, if you prefer.)
3. Ensure your smartphone is fully charged because everyone who is connected to you on social media will be desperate to see what selfies you are going to post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Tumblr. And then, of course, you’ll have to post a blog update the moment the final award has been handed out, just in case the BBC tries to get their story in first. Don’t waste your time actually talking to anyone. Waste of time. Rookie error.
4. In the unlikely event that you win, make sure you have prepared an acceptance speech. Strolling up on stage half-cut with a wine-stained shirt, waving your trophy in the air and shouting “Eat this, losers!” is probably not going to win you another award next year.
5. Practise, practise, practise your speech, so that if you do have to give it you’ll have that all-important air of spontaneity thoroughly rehearsed.
6. If you don’t win, be prepared to quickly burn your speech and deny its existence.
7. When you get home, don’t expect (a) the red carpet treatment or (b) any sympathy for your hangover. Do expect to have screaming children thrust at you to make up for your evening pass.
I think that just about covers it.