I realised that in writing my recent post about blog awards, I completely neglected to mention how I was planning to respond to the two nominations for awards that I received. And I believe that as well as my thanks, which I have given, the two people who nominated me should know what I plan to do, and why.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I am honoured and very glad to be nominated. I often doubt myself and my writing, and receiving the nominations gave me much-needed encouragement and motivation, and I can draw on that in times to come, when those doubts return with a vengeance.
I would love to accept the awards – but I do not think that I can, for two reasons. Firstly, when addressing my concerns over finding the time to respond to the nomination in accordance with ‘the rules’, Tempest Rose (‘Nonsense and Shenanigans’) told me not to feel under any pressure, but to ‘just keep doing what you’re doing’. ‘Doing what I’m doing’ is what led to the award, and for so many reasons, I need to ‘keep doing it’. I don’t know if I will receive any other award nominations (particularly after these last two posts!), but I would like to be consistent in how I respond, and following the rules involved with each one, would inevitably take time away from ‘doing what I’m doing’. Secondly, although everyone reacts differently, I’m conscious of the anxiety and pressure that I felt under, to respond to the nominations and to ‘follow the rules’, and I wouldn’t want to visit that on anyone else, however unlikely that might be.
I would love to accept the awards, and I wish that I could accept them without following the rules – but somehow, I feel that that would be disrespectful to the individuals who created them. Perhaps these are now the ‘blogging community’s awards’ – perhaps we now ‘own them’ collectively, and can individually decide how to respond when we are nominated. But until there is some sort of consensus on that, it wouldn’t feel right for me to simply change the terms of the award. I have always felt bound to play by the rules, and if I cannot follow them, I don’t feel I can play. I hope that doesn’t sound moralistic or judgmental – it is certainly is not intended that way. These are my own internal drivers, and this is a very personal decision. I am most definitely not saying that others should make a similar decision, and in fact I have greatly enjoyed reading the ‘award posts’ of those who have accepted awards and have ‘followed the rules’. Those posts are often very insightful and illuminating of the individuals involved, and help us to get to know them better.
Thank you again, H&J (‘The Bipolar Bum’) and Tempest Rose, for your kind words and for the nominations themselves. Your words have already shown me that you will understand my decision, and not be offended by it. I am crossing any and all limbs that can be crossed (which for someone as inflexible as me, is not very many), in the hope that others, particularly givers and receivers of awards, will also understand my posts on this subject, even if they do not agree.
The extent to which disagreement can make me feel uncomfortable (with the exception of the purely academic and philosophical sort) continues to amaze me. Having now posted my views on the subject of blog awards, I am metaphorically ‘running for cover’. Until the next post, and with reference to the last paragraph of my previous post, you will find me hiding under a large mountain of cake.