Another year rolls around. Another year that I have not yet won a blogging award.
Totally unreasonable, I know.
And in its wake come the Poor Me posts. The wails of the parent blogging community. Why not me? Why not me? The posts that pretend they don’t care about blog awards, that they’re all a waste of time anyway. The posts that complain about it all being about numbers of followers anyway, not real talent. That if they could just be given a chance and a little more recognition, then surely they would be winning all the awards, right?
Well I am not winning all the awards. I haven’t asked for votes, my social media presence is, by blogger standards, pitiful, and much as I do not begrudge anyone their success, and wish I could be all rainbows and unicorns about the achievements of others, as I know is only right and proper, I am constantly bitter about being up against The Others. The Others who, I imagine, spend all their time tapping away at their keyboards, building their empires slowly and steadily from the comfort of their kitchens whilst I am at work, or trying to get Piglet to sleep. How unreasonable, I think. How unreasonable that these people have time to work on their social media game, their blogs, and things to write as well. How exciting must their lives be that they spend their time having infinitely bloggable adventures whilst I am stuck marking a set of Year 7 books. How unreasonable that people have husbands, or work full time on their blogs, or have social media-related jobs that must ensure for them some kind of special insight into the world of influencers that I in my traditional teaching job cannot possibly hope to attain.
So what is the secret of their success? Is it the endless hours of time that I imagine they have? Is it perfectly behaved children who go to bed every night at 7pm on the dot and remain therein for twelve hours without a whimper? Is it the confidence to proclaim their glories to the world by canvassing for votes from everyone they know?
Or is it that they are quite simply better at blogging than me?
In my four and a half years (thank you ladies and gentlemen, I’ll take any long service awards that are going. Who am I trying to kid, I’ll take any award) writing this blog, I have seen many new bloggers arise, and then rise and rise through the ranks, far surpassing me in follower numbers in bafflingly short spaces of time. I have seen them write posts that have gone viral, set up Instagram communities and make money online. And yet I have not done so. Do I need to work harder? Some would say yes, but last year there were times when I nearly drove myself to insanity trying to balance a new job with blogging and single parenting, and this year I have deliberately tried to avoid that. I also know that last year there were times when I felt that I saw my son so infrequently that my mother may as well adopt him.
Is that the way I want to live my life? As a husk of a person, crouched over a screen, in some Instagram comment pod when I could be spending what little time I do have with my son? Certainly not, and yet this is what blogging seems to require of us. Then I question myself. Perhaps the real issue is that I am just not ambitious enough, or driven enough, or prepared to Instagram myself into an early grave enough. Or worst of all, maybe my blog just isn’t good enough.
Perhaps I complain too much, perhaps I’m not relatable. Perhaps I don’t write enough comments in the UK Parent Bloggers Facebook group. Perhaps everyone in the blogging world hates me and just isn’t saying.
Perhaps I just need to stop worrying and get on with writing.
It is still about writing, right? Right?