It’s now almost two weeks since the Brilliance in Blogging awards in London.
Almost two weeks since that gorgeous, astonishing, unfathomable and unexpected moment when I heard the opening of an envelope followed by Carol Smillie (TV personality turned cofounder of Diary Doll) say two words I thought I’d misheard: Absolutely Prabulous.
I know…mad right?!
Video courtesy of kind-hearted blogger New Mum Online who took it upon herself to film all 14 winners (and even threw in a marvellous raspberry blowing moment).
Yes, somehow I won the BiBs Writer award, thanks to the beautiful voters and ‘amazing panel of judges whose taste I think is rather good’ (yep just quoted that from my awards acceptance speech). Yet I’m only just writing my BiBs Awards post now! #LaziestBloggerEver Truth be told, it’s not laziness (for once).
You see, something unexpected and frankly a bit inconvenient happened in the aftermath of winning…
I started writing something when I got back to my hotel room after a wonderful dinner out with some of my blogging besties but was in too much numb shock and a tad distracted by Glastonbury on the TV. I tried again the morning after, as I sat in the fab Hoxton Hotel restaurant, getting my London on, with the help of eggs benedict and a ridiculously healthy smoothie that was soooo green I thought they’d pulverised Kermit and stuck the poor sod in a glass. In fact I did write something but I thought it was a bit meh so I binned it.
Then I tried again upon returning to my room after brunch. (Yes, I’m aware this is sounding less like a description of a blogger trying to write and more like the story of a woman trying to get pregnant.)
I gave up and just took selfies instead.
Yes dear reader…I’d lost the ability to write…just hours after winning an award for my (apparent) writing skills.
Gotta laugh! In fact, I ‘misplaced’ my entire blogging mojo for about a week. Zut alors! Très careless. “Call yourself a blogger?” “Shame on you!”, “We want our money back” “What a Prabulous fraudster you are” etc etc. This time it wasn’t for any of the reasons I described in My Turn to Struggle with This (thank goodness). No, this time, it was two other reasons…
First, daft as it sounds, I think my brain fogged with panic at having to write something. Okay, it’s not the Booker or the Pulitzer prize but still, one kind of feels like anything one produces after winning an award for writing – especially a post about winning an award for writing – has to be nothing less than stellar! Second, full blown exhaustion hit me the day of #BML16 (dreadful timing as it caused me to miss pretty much the whole afternoon and I don’t feel like I was mentally there for any of it to be honest). I’m talking the kind of fatigue I’ve not felt since I was up all night feeding the babies years ago, that continued through the rest of my stay in London and the first few days of my return to Malta, where the heat and humidity didn’t exactly help in relocating my lost mojo. Honestly, just ask Laura how much I banged on about how tired I was; she must have thought I finally get some kids-free time and now I’m lumbered with this grown up toddler whining instead. I’ve also recently talked about my difficulties balancing blog, life and family so I guess it was a triple whammy: exhaustion, a mild case of writer’s block and just general imbalance.
So here I sit at crazy o’clock again, bashing the keyboard. Now the kids are home for the school holidays, I’ve just resigned myself to blogging in the ridiculously small hours as per normal…because it’s at crazy o’clock that the writing inspiration hits. Gah! Terrible for my health and a nightmare for my deepening under eye dark circles but it’s how I’ve blogged since the beginning and it led to an award so maybe I shouldn’t go changin’? Answers on a postcard please.
So, what do I say about this most marvellous of not-Oscar-or-Pulitzer-but-still-blooming-fab bloggy outcomes?
Well, I could tell you how despite lovely little successes like going viral three times with three entirely different types of post (about my inept parenting, my marriage and Malta mayhem) and seeing myself on various favourite blogger lists and the whole Huff Post thang (which actually does very little for one’s site traffic but hey who cares, it still feels great to get on!), the simple truth is that I genuinely had NO idea there was so much love for my wee little blog. Pinky swear. Didn’t realise (despite the many times bloggers have tried to tell me and despite the tremendous feedback the posts have always received). Fact is, there are better blogs/writers out there. FACT. Maybe it’s just luck, good timing, stars aligning, whatever. But I will never ever cease to be touched by it. As I said on a recent Facebook post, when life is getting me down, I’ll just hit the play button and listen to the whoops and shrieks on that video to remind myself of how incredibly blessed I am.
I could tell you a heart tug inspiring (translation: vomit inducing) tale of how (as a then new twitter user) I saw tweets about the Unmumsy Mum winning various awards last year and subconsciously thought how cool she was…and how maybe hypothetically sort of not that I really care all that much whatever (ahem), it would be nice to win an award for blogging myself. And then did just that a year later. Oh and finally met Sarah who was in the writer category too and who is not surprisingly très cool indeed.
I could go all cheese central on you and list some of the amazing things that happened after I won. Not to preen, blow trumpets, puff my chest out and all that jazz. But to spread some light and warmth in the depressing midst of Brexs*it, various bombings, Blairgate and bigotry… And show what an utterly amazing, life-changing, confidence-boosting and exhilarating force blogging has been for me these last two plus years.
Things such as the private messages, bloggers’ tweets, my parents’ reactions (I’ve never seen my Dad so proud of me), my husband’s message in his congratulations card which almost choked me, my friends’ pride and so on…it means the world to me. I hesitate to feature too much on here, as nobody likes a jumped up #BlogDiva (least of all me!) so I’ll just show you a couple:
This whatsapp message (written by a child who clearly took in what her mother said in 40 Lessons to My Kids):
And this from one of my favourite bloggers and biggest cheerleaders, Helen. I deliberated over publicising this for fear of my motives being misunderstood but I just have to show you what amazing friends I’ve made through blogging. Pure #BloggerLove and God bless her sturdy ankles (she’ll get it).
Things such as Franca whom I met for the first time at #BML16, coming up to me after the awards and saying something so kind about positive energy and auras. I won’t fully quote it but suffice to say, her words will stay with me because they blew me away.
Things such as my #BlogFamily, along with people I don’t know, going a little bit nuts when my name was announced. A massive affectionate shout out to Cuddle Fairy, Island Living 365, Just Saying Mum, Life Love and Dirty Dishes, Life With Baby Kicks, Mess Stress and Fancy Dress, Motherhood the Real Deal, Mum Muddling Through, Pink Pear Bear and This Mums Life. There aren’t enough beautiful powerful words to describe these supportive women.
But no, I think I’ll just do what I’m more comfortable with: poke fun at myself and explain how not to behave at a blog awards ceremony in general…
Don’t stand in front of the hotel room mirror and say “What do you think you’re doing getting all dressed up when you’re not going to win the award?”, then take off the gorge oh-so-flattering white strapless top and lace skirt that you’d brought over especially…and instead INSTEAD squeeeeeeeze yourself into oh-so-not-flattering tight white jeans that you have no business being in the same room with. #PancakeArse [Mental note to self: immediately visit Does My Bum Look 40 in This? and learn from it]
Don’t sit in your seat open-mouthed forcing one of your blog mates to practically elbow you so you get up after your name is called out.
Don’t panic over keeping the lovely Jen, Susanna, Nadine and of course Carol waiting on stage consequently almost running towards it (although please could all we do a quick respectful nod to how fast I was able to move in those heels? DANG that was impressive if I say so myself).
Furthermore, don’t peg it back to your seat afterwards…what was up with me? Did I think my friends were going to finish all the drink before I got back to the table?
Don’t, for the love of blog, practically snatch the bubbles, that are part of your prize, out of poor Jen’s hand with barely a thank you. Is it my imagination or did I hear someone mutter “You can take the girl out of Wembley, but…” Oh hang on that was me. #Classy
Don’t look so shocked at winning that you actually look like you’re frowning and mutter something daft to the ladies on stage about how you are genuinely happy but are also grimacing and that your grimace is actually your happy look and flip only knows what else because instead of looking shocked, you just look like a right mardy grump. (My gorgeous bloggin besties have assured me that I didn’t look miserable or ungrateful and that I just looked overwhelmed but I pay them vast amounts of money to say things like that to me.)
Don’t stand at that podium – the one you cheekily allowed yourself to dream about standing at in those award fantasies you never for one second thought would actually come true – and make a speech at warp speed, that even you are barely understand.
Don’t sit back down in your seat, zap out a post on FB first, tell your mum and siblings second and then only tell your other half THIRD (by which time he’d already heard one of your siblings shriek “She’s won!” as she saw the FB post before you even whatsapped him). Duh.
But most importantly, don’t try to be all clever and explain how your friends are the family you choose for yourself and get it so wrong that it sounds like you’ve just insulted your actual family and worse still (could it get worse?) FORGET to mention your mum, sisters, brother and hubby. #KillMe
So there you have it. Not a stellar post. But a post. By the way…in my delusional little head, this is my Booker/Pulitzer moment…
Right, I’m off to find the address of Louise Candlish (the Writer category judge) so I can send her that cheque (whoops I mean flowers) and then put another laundry load on.
Because apparently, I still have to do crap like that around here despite being an award winning writer.
I know…mad right?!
Thank you to everyone who voted for me and believed in me. You’re just incredible.