*Please don't forget! If you liked my second Campaign piece, I need your votes. Head on over and "Like" my entry (#51 on the list)!*
So last week, I won the One Lovely Blog Award from Stephanie. Here's what it looks like:
Now, remember how I said getting awards never gets old? Well, I kind of lied to you. See, getting recognition for being a cool/unique/versatile/sweet blogger never gets old, because it feels good knowing that other people get you and like what you're doing. HOWEVER. The listing-of-the-random-facts-and-sending-it-to-so-many-people-that-the-meaning-gets-lost part DOES get old. And fast.
Last weekend, while chatting with my new friend Julie, we realized something. We've both been getting the same 5 or 6 awards, and not one of them actually recognizes the writer behind every blog. Because, dear reader, writing is HARD. It's sitting in front of a blank document for an hour before you decide on the perfect opening sentence. It's biting your nails while you wait for feedback on your most recent chapter. It's, as Julie said, taking a deep breath before you tell your friends, in a not-so-loud voice, "I'm a writer, and I'm working on this fantasy-but-not book for teenagers-or-maybe-grownups."
And sometimes, while we go through all that, we feel like the world's stinkiest skunk. Like we're wallowing in the stench of our own work, and it's never going to smell daisy-fresh like the published book of so-and-so. I know, because I've been there. In fact, I'm feeling particularly skunk-like right now, marinating in the miasma of my own self-doubt (did you see what I did there? :P). But it's our pocket writing buddies (or crit partners, if you will), and this fantastic writing community, that hang an air freshener on our skunky noses and tell us it'll be ok. And that is why Julie and I decided that we needed our own award.
It's an award for the friends we keep in our pockets. An award for the blog followers who always comment, even if you feel like your post stinks worse than Limburger cheese. An award for bloggers who inspired you to do better. Here's what it looks like:
My fiance designed it, because he's helpful like that. :) So here's the deal: You don't have to pass this award on to a certain number of people. You don't have to list random facts about yourself, or join a secret puppy-loving society, or anything like that. We just ask that (because this is a feel-good award) you share one thing about yourself that makes you feel GOOD. It can be something about your writing, something about your "real life," food you ate, a book you read, a song you heard. You should also thank and link back to the person who gave it to you, but that goes without saying. Julie and I are passing it to 5 people to get it circulating, but you can pass it to 1. Or 10. Or keep it until someone comes along and changes your universe. It's up to you. :)
My one good thing is this: In the past month, I have gained more confidence in myself than I ever thought I'd have. I put myself out there, and e-mailed people who moved me with their blogs. Without that confidence, I wouldn't have even met the people I'm passing the award to.
Julie, this whole friendship thing we've got going turned out to be so much more than I thought it would be. Thanks for being my constant pocket companion. :) You're always there to read my skunky words when I need you to, or talk about books for three hours, or design really cute blog awards. I can't wait for the actual hardcore-critique portion of our scheduled programming. :P
Christine, thanks for responding to my first e-mail. I've learned a lot about blogging, and critiquing, and Jurassic Park from you. You helped me go from vague-and-boring-hook to killer-intriguing-hook in a matter of weeks, and I thank you for it. :D
And to these lovely followers:
Andrew, for reading my first Campaign piece, and liking it so much that you e-mailed me to tell me so. It made a world of difference. :)
Angelina C Hansen and Skye, for supporting me both in the blogosphere and on Twitter. If I ever have a question or a gripe, I know who to turn to. :)