To be honest I didn't know what a blog was when I started Downs Side Up just over a year ago and so I had no bench mark, nothing to compare myself to. I honestly didn't know what I was trying to be, so I just became what I had wanted to see and read when Natty was born. That has always been my only motive.
I found that putting on blinkers (ie not reading other similar blogs) was the only way to find my own voice, say my own thing in my own way, and this often leads me to not read or comment on others' blogs as often as I should. I hope they forgive me.
I probably work in a slightly artistic way: late into the night, I'm fluffy about deadlines and rather disorganised in my email inbox. I work from the heart, the gut feeling, the muse, the tiniest of motivations, a heart-stopping photo. I actually enjoy talking to people on Twitter, possibly a bit too much, but never for gain of followers.
I might promise you an article, and it'll be great, but you might have to remind me to finish it. You might ask me to review a product. I'll turn you down unless I think my readers would actually like it. Money doesn't ever feature for me, although it might make me remember to write your article ;) And actually, when one spends 10 hours a day on one's blog, a little recompense, just to cover one's costs might be prudent in the long run.
But as my blogging journey progressed, I got distracted. Writing sweet, inspirational, informative, powerful blog posts became the skeleton upon which speaking to doctors, teachers, students, parents, training, campaigning in parliament, taking ones clothes off for charity and to celebrate mummy bodies and pushing companies to include models with disabilities became the flesh. Parents told me I was changing their lives and that became the focus.
I have always counted this as being part of blogging properly. I mean blogging is always at the core of something more, right? But still I am a novice blogger. My site is not glossy and I still think SEO is someone in charge of a large company.
Then, along came the awards ceremonies, well the first of the year, the MADS. I was nominated in the MADS and BRITS last year which is a wonderful boost for any writer. Lots of my gavourite bloggers won these awards, others I didn't know before are now an inspiration to me.
But far too distracted by sitting throught the night researching disability abortion law before facing a panel of MPs to read the MADS page I assumed 'nominations' meant just that, and that voting would come later. I sat and proudly smiled at being nominated.... and missed the voting boat.
Should I have been filling my blog with requests for them? I didn't. I actually don't like touting, but I might have asked my Mum and friends to put in a word, you know, to save face :)
@HerMelness recently wrote The Mad World of Blogging Awards, a post about how important it is to celebrate what you have achieved outside of and in addition to these official awards. I won't lie, it would have been nice to go through to the shortlist, to further spread our word and awareness of DS, but I will focus on other personal achievements. Thank you Mel for keeping us on the straight and narrow in Blogland.
Then, suddenly, I heard that there was a new category for the blogger who has made an outstanding contribution and that I had been nominated by parenting expert Sue Atkins. (I've since learnt others have nominated DSU too). I was utterly overwhelmed and very emotional. I am so very very proud to be considered in that light and yes, you can vote (it's confusingly called nominating) and yes, I will put the link here, if only to show you I am not a rubbish, disorganised blogger all the time ;)
CLICK THIS BADGE TO VOTE!
MY URL IS HTTP://WWW.DOWNSSIDEUP.COM
THANK YOU X