“First I’d like to thank my mother, for inspiring my many complaints about her, and for having the good grace to recognise that I am usually joking.
Secondly, I would like to thank my friends, for believing in me, and for giving me the likes on Facebook that give my life meaning and validation.
Thirdly, I would like to thank the blogging Tribe, the ladies of (HASHTAG ALERT) #Tribalchat, for listening to my pleas and tolerating my lack of confidence in my blogging abilities, which frequently result in tedious extended Twitter rants, and for voting for me in an actual award (more on this later).
Finally, I would like to thank God. I’m not sure I believe in You, but it seems to be the done thing in these sorts of situations. Sort of like a Pascal’s Wager where the pay-off might be a friendly ear in Heaven and a few more awards. Cheers God. Worship you forever, yeah?”
A few weeks ago, I sat down to write a blog post. It was an angry post, about all the awards I hadn’t yet won, and all the unfairness that little old me had yet again been sidelined in favour of some faceless other people, some of whom I greatly respect, some of whom are hugely talented, and most of whom I hadn’t heard of, and ergo, they must be rubbish and WHY NOT ME WHY NOT ME.
I have been blogging for a long time.
Sometimes I feel like I should be collecting some sort of blogging gold watch. Because you get those for like, six months in Cyber-World, right? And yet, according to Angry Me, I don’t get the gold watch. I don’t get the platitudes, the followers, the likes, the shares, the awards. Certainly not the awards.
And every day I see new people popping up in the blogosphere. People who are talented, and funny, and poignant and poor old me, for I had lost my mojo. Yes, that one, the infamous blogging mojo. The spark of inspiration that waxes and wanes like the phases of the moon, and whose fallow periods can often feel like a life sentence of bad writing and zero ideas.
Or maybe I just don’t promote myself enough? Maybe my terribly British sense of modesty and restraint prevents me from being the best I can be, simply by making it a matter of pearl-clutching horror to even contemplate asking for a retweet on my latest post.
Is this what one does? I ask myself, fumbling for the smelling salts I have handily deposited on the boudoir dresser nearby. When one wishes for others to know who I am, to know my work, my name, I must ASK FOR A RETWEET?
Because that’s the Thing now. Social media reigns omnipotent. One must constantly push one’s brand. I’m a brand. You’re a brand. We’re all a great big, self-publicising corporate machine, ergo, a brand. We were all sat there chuckling when That Buffoon Off The Apprentice A Few Years Back sat in his interview braying “I’m a brand! I’m a brand!” across the table at Sir Alan and Karen and the old bloke with the glasses as they sat there stony-faced, trying to look inscrutable and yet incredulous enough for a clever bit of editing to make their feelings clear, and now we’re all at it. We’re all brands now. Spreading our on-brand message across social media. Vote for me! Read my latest post? Have you read my latest post? You might also like to read this one! Would you be so kind as to pause for a moment on your journey through cyberspace as I give you my tips on what to pack in your hospital bag?
It’s not that I mind. I don’t. I don’t mind if other people want to be a brand, albeit one that looks uncannily like a human person. I don’t mind if other people want to plug their latest posts. That’s what social media is for, after all. I’m not the sort of serious-faced purist who gets all high and mighty about how Twitter was better in the olden days of yestermonth, when it was all about the interaction, dahling, and these terrible self-publicists have just gone and hijacked all our cosy conversations over tea and screen fatigue. But I just can’t do it myself. I can’t be that one shouting the loudest, that one who can always make their voice heard. I just don’t have the (whispers as if admitting some shameful secret) self-confidence.
And I admit, I don’t want to read anyone’s “what’s in my hospital bag” plug. Not unless what’s in your hospital bag is a tankard of real ale to toast the birth, and a set of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the new arrival.
Oh wait, that’s just what was in MY hospital bag.
But anyway, again I digress.
Sometimes the ol’ blogging game gets me down, and then I remember why I started. Was it to win awards? Clearly not, because I had no idea awards existed. Was it to have legions of adoring fans across the scaly tentacles of the internet? Well, yes obviously. And that’s why it feels so satisfying to have finally won an award. A virtual award, but an award nonetheless, an accolade voted for by my peers in the parent blogging community. It might not have the hype of the Oscars, the Grammys, or even the Mumsnet Blogging Awards, but it’s an award. I, my friends, am an award winning blogger, and I will darn well not be letting anyone forget it. Especially not me.
Too late now, I’ve added it to my Twitter bio. That’s it, I am now officially one great big, self-promoting corporate BRAND.