As many of you know (because I banged on and ON about it and frankly how did you put up with it?!), in April I was shortlisted for both the MAD Blog Awards and Brilliance in blogging awards as Best Writer finalist. I was absolutely astonished to make one shortlist, let alone two. I’m not sure I’ll ever believe or understand it. I’m simply too close to my blog to be able to see what others see in it. So I started writing this post earlier on the beach on a glorious hot sunny afternoon after fetching the kids from school. (Yes I know, there should also be a shortlist for smug tossers.)
I just felt compelled to write a little something about the BiBs 2016 final shortlist.
So, a month of votes campaigning started which was all rather out of my comfort zone and I’m sure I drove the whole of Facebook crazy with my numerous posts asking people to vote for me (as if they weren’t already fed up enough of the please ‘nominate me for the shortlist’ posts that had gone before). Luckily for the Twitter crowd, me being rather ditzy, I totally forgot to tweet about it after the first week of initial ‘pleeeeeze vote’ posts, so I think they were spared more than the FB lot.
Thursday 26th, (after a restless night caused by the surprise announcement that the Brit Mums team were announcing the Brilliance in Blogging Final Shortlist a day early), I woke up, saw an awards-related message from my good friend Cuddles and told her I felt too sick with nerves and planned to avoid social media (as I was sure I wouldn’t make the final five). I promptly tried to go back to sleep. Nice try. I’m too curious for my own good; worse than any of my kids.
The avoiding Twitter etc idea failed miserably; the phone was back on a short while later.
And there were messages. Sweet funny messages. Mainly about me still being asleep.
What can I say? I did tell you a couple of months ago that I’m the most the likely to win an award for my sleep skills. And there were of course lovely congratulatory tweets. Big love. I’d made the final five. So had Cuddles. So had Island Living, she of the hilarious message. And breathe. I was actually really calm and subdued. I put it down to shock. But a few hours later Hubster said something that made me realise it wasn’t that. More on that in a sec.
Of course, I’d love to pick up the award June 25th and do my best tearful Gwynnie-esque speech
(minus the bubble gum pink doll-toilet-roll-holder-style gown).
But this brings me to Hubster’s comment. Once he put me back down after his proud bear hug, when I told him the news later on, he said
You made it this far and as far as I’m concerned, that’s a win. Anything else is a bonus.
Wise words. Then Musical M said “Mummy you are a winner just for writing your blog in the first place”. Amazing, she’s not even 12! In that moment, I suddenly understood why I’d been so calm in my excitement. It wasn’t because I wasn’t bowled over; it was because I was just relieved and happy. If this is far as I go and I don’t win, I’m already a winner… Reaching the shortlist of ten finalists was amazing; but then to have got as far as the final five is more than I could have hoped for. To win would obviously be incredible – and after I’ve finished writing this I need to go practise my best awards ceremony ‘face’ – but maybe I should just be thrilled I’ve got this far.
So if this really is as far as I go, (all my bits are crossed that it isn’t but if it is), then I have to say a big fat Prabulous thank you.
Thank you, you blooming fabulous lot who nominated me and got to me to the initial BiBs shortlist, then voted for me and got me through to the final five, sent me amazing messages, left ridiculously amazing comments on my social media and here on the blog. How do I ever repay you?!
I also need to thank a certain dad blogger.
A year ago, I received a tweet from Rod of Modern Dad Pages inviting me to join what’s called a blog link-up. We’d never tweeted one another before and I had no idea what a linky was but tried it and lost my linky virginity to Rod (sorry it’s an old joke and I love ribbing him with it). A whole world of bloggers and new experiences opened up for me. (I’d barely spoken to a single blogger in the previous 18 months of blogging.) Soon after, I wrote my first ever viral post. Not long after, Rod asked me to write a from-the-heart post for him. I moaned about the short notice but wrote something very personal. It received an extraordinary response which I’ve also written about, is one of my own favourites and people still mention it. I hand on heart believe that if it hadn’t been for Rod, I would still be bumbling around in the blogosphere. Even though I launched in November 2013 to an amazing response, I don’t feel like I really started blogging properly until I ‘met’ Rod. I don’t think he knows how grateful I am that he was my lucky charm.
And finally I need to say thank you to blogging itself.
In my post about my blogging journey that I wrote for Mum Muddling Through, I mention just some of the things that blogging has brought my way: rediscovering myself after years as a SAHM, meeting incredible talented writers, the belly laughs I’ve had on Twitter, getting on the HuffPost, private messages and blog comments I’ve received from followers about posts that have helped them, constantly meeting total strangers out and about in Malta who read me (earlier on at the beach I met a guy who follows the blog and I met someone at a barbecue last week who follows it and this kind of stuff happens regularly…crazy…beautiful crazy).
I simply couldn’t have predicted any of that when I hit publish on my first blog post. And I’m so grateful for all of it.
Right, excuse me. I’m off to call Gwynnie to lend me a dress. Just ‘that’ one.
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