About Awards and Me

by Elouise

End-of-Year Awards

The first time a blogger nominated me for an award, I didn’t know what to do. Was I happy? Yes! Thrown into inner turmoil? Yes! It felt like an interruption that would derail my writing.

I decided it would be easier to decline politely, with thanks to the blogger who nominated me. So I did just that.

I also said I needed to put something up on my blog about it being award-free. That would settle everything without any fuss or hurt feelings on anyone’s part.

As things developed, I didn’t put up an award-free page. I just let it go because I wasn’t sure what to say, especially since I wasn’t getting nominated for awards every day! In fact, putting up a notice like that felt presumptuous.

Then a few other nominations came along, and I began to have second thoughts. By then I’d read what other bloggers had to say about awards. Yet I wasn’t certain what I thought and why.

I responded by following through on a few of the nominations, but not on all of them. Strange to say, I actually enjoyed the few I completed! This only increased my uncertainty.

Then, in the last month, two blogging friends nominated me for writing challenges. My first thought? I don’t have time for this! My second thought? Oh! I think I might like to do this!

I’ve now completed both challenges (3 quotations, and 5 stories), and loved each of them. This got me thinking again about nominations and what I’ll do if there’s another.

First, I’ll tell myself the truth:

  1. Nominations and the ‘rules’ attached to each of them aren’t Rules for Good Girls or The Ten Commandments or any other set of life-regulating commands.
  2. No one is obligated to accept an award or challenge. This includes me!

Great! But now how do I think about this?

First, no matter how I feel about a nomination, I’ll say ‘Thank you! You made my day!’ Or something like that. 

  • Good manners? Yes. But it’s more than that.
  • Even if I don’t know the person who nominated me, just being nominated is a wonderful surprise. Knowing someone thought about me gives me a huge lift. A reason to keep writing!

Second, I like encouragement and challenges from time to time.

  • Comments and Likes are great! Are they my awards? Yes, but they aren’t the same as nominations.
  • A nomination encourages me to challenge my writing. Not just about what I write, but how I put it together.

Third, I want to know what connection this person has with me.

  • Is this one of my followers or someone I follow?
  • In any case, is this blogger writing about themes I’m writing about such as healing from trauma, relationships, spiritual formation and writing?

Fourth, is there a way to connect this award or challenge with themes about which I already write? 

  • If so, I’m more likely to accept the nomination.
  • If not, I’m not likely to accept it.

This morning I read an excellent post about nominations. I also read many comments made in response to the post, and found them helpful.

So here’s my thinking today:

  • I’m free to take each nomination as it comes, with gratitude, and then decide whether to follow-up on the requirements or not.
  • I reserve the right to make small changes in the requirements, in keeping with the spirit of the award or challenge.
  • I’ll never enjoy having to choose which blogger/s to nominate for an award or challenge. This is why I’ll likely keep throwing it open to anyone who would like a writing challenge.

What are your thoughts about awards and challenges?
Do/would you enjoy being nominated for awards or challenges?
Are you, as I am, uncomfortable being nominated for anything? If so, why?
If you’re not a blogger, what do you think about all this?

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 6 October 2015
Image from pinterest.com