It seems blogging awards are a lot like buses. You wait all year for one, and then you’re shortlisted for two in the space of a week.
Last Friday, I discovered that I’m one of four finalists in the UK Dad Blog category at Vuelio’s 2019 Online Influence Awards. Then, last night, I found out I’m also up for the Readers’ Choice Award at BritMums’ Brilliance in Blogging (BiB) Awards.
Not my first rodeo
It’s my second straight year at the Vuelio Awards and my fourth consecutive tilt at the BiBs. Even so, I’m surprised by my nominations this year.
Why? There are so many reasons. Although it’s not my first time at either of these particular rodeos, it’s never something I expect – and certainly not something I take for granted.
Vuelio is a major media database provider, so it’s their business to know the blogging business. They select the finalists themselves, so it’s not about being popular – it’s about being good.
On the other hand, a combination of public nominations and judges’ picks determine the BiB finalists. Now I make no secret about the fact that, while I’ve been around the blogging world for quite some time, I have a very small – make that embarrassingly small – readership. So somehow I must be punching above my weight.
Knowing my level
Now I know it’s the sort of thing people say disingenuously, but I’m genuinely pleased just to get this far. The blogging world is an increasingly competitive and professional business. The quality of writing is almost unrecognisable compared to even five years ago. Several of the ‘big’ names in parent blogging draw more readers per day than I do in an entire month. Many blog full-time; I barely manage a couple of evenings a week.
I like to think it’s an indication of quality over quantity. My blog is small but perfectly formed. I’m like a blogging member of the Algonquin Round Table, with my cutting parenting observations and razor-sharp wit. That elusive book deal is just around the corner. The publisher’s offer letter is delayed in the post.
Of course, it isn’t. I’m a decent writer with a nice line in self-deprectaing humour and obscure pop culture references. But I’m realistic enough to recognise that I’m not the next Unmumsy Mum or Man vs Baby. And that’s okay. I’ll take my award nominations for what they are: recognition that I’m doing something right. (If anyone can tell me what that actually is, that would be really helpful, though. After all this time, I still have no idea.)
Even now, knowing I’m so close, I’m relaxed about my (non-existent) chances of actually winning, even though mathematically my chances are one-in-four and one-in-five respectively. For the Vuelio award, I’m up against the winners from the last two years. And at the BiBs I’m facing similarly strong competition, including the 2017 winner. So while it’s possible to argue that the law of averages says it must be my year eventually … well, life doesn’t work that way.
A quiet hope
Nevertheless, I’m not unhappy. Not at all. Many bloggers never get this far, so I’ve done well already. I get to go to a black-tie dinner in London for the Online Influence Awards, where I’ll spend the evening with friends old and new, celebrate the winners and commisserate with my fellow, er, non-winners. And for the next few weeks I can quietly nurture the hope – no matter how faint – that I might just win this year.
That would be grand, wouldn’t it? The hope is almost certainly misplaced, but it’s good while it lasts.
Plus, you know, I have something to write about, which is a gift horse no self-respecting blogger will ever say no to.
So wish me luck: I’m going to need it!