Show-off. Egotist. Braggart. Boast. Showboat. Call them what you will, they all have one thing in common: they sure ain’t attractive.
Arguably even worse is the bombastic, servile, fawning sycophant – the arrogance of the former is sincere at least.
I grew up with two brothers who, through no fault of their own, outshone me. They have each gone on to have successful careers, while I have always lived in their shadows. But, for perhaps the first time in my life, I’m doing something of which I can be truly proud (the blog, just in case that’s not clear, I mean the blog). Not only that; I also have it on good authority that my siblings are impressed with what I’ve cobbled together during the last 15 months. (Naturally, that good authority comes third hand, because brothers don’t tell sisters stuff like that, obvs.)
But I have never excelled at ‘talking myself up’ or, indeed, seeing my worth. Unfortunately, I come from a string of jobs within an industry renowned for using and abusing their staff. In the decade before I became a mother, I was told over and over and over again how useless I was. At first I didn’t believe it, but when you hear something enough times, it does eventually begin to sink in.
(Confession time: during the course of one particular appointment, I concede that I may have been less than the model employee. Things got off to a rather flying start actually…but then I realised I was in my prime, working ‘up tahn’, and earning more than anyone my age who had swerved uni [and debt] had the moral right to. So, it is possible that I *may* have inadvertently partaken in the lifestyle I was not afforded during those missed uni years. Fine, let’s be straight: I should have been sacked. I was incredibly stupid and incredibly lucky. But do you know what? I don’t regret it. Sure, I’m embarrassed. Perhaps even a little ashamed. But there will be no midlife crisis for this woman – I did it all. So it’s done. And it means I can do my level best to persuade my daughter why what I did ain’t the way to go about things. Wish me luck with that one, yeah?)
My last ever experience of working in that environment would have broken a weaker person. I’m thankful to be made of sterner stuff, and it gave me the confirmation that they all talk a good game of utter bilge to further their own agenda.
Heavily pregnant and with bigger fish to fry, I walked away; and shortly thereafter my blog was born.
But the legacy I’ve been left with is a quiet determination. I’m a grafter, and I’m a writer. But the old git MD was right when he said I’m not a salesperson – I don’t have ‘the gift of the gab’ – because I’m too honest, too shy, and too lacking in confidence. (I realise that I probably don’t always come across that way in my writing. I’m a strange combination of feeble and fierce. I think maybe it comes down to the colour of my bra on a given day?)
But anyway, it’s awards season. And if there’s one thing growing up with my brothers has taught me, it’s this:
IF YOU WANT TO BE COUNTED, STAND THE CHUFF UP.
So, this is me (meekly), standing the chuff up.
Also, I want to be a good role model for my daughter, which kind of means demonstrating how to do uncomfortable stuff. (Hint: uncomfortably.)
If I were talking to my daughter about something she’d poured her heart and soul into, of which she was proud and deserved recognition, I would tell her she’d be a damn fool not to at least take a punt on winning that coveted accolade. I’d tell her to put herself forward and tell people why she’d like the opportunity. Which is completely CRINGE! But also, kind of unequivocally necessary – because otherwise nobody would know about it and she’d have two hopes.
So, uh, this is me doing that. (And hoping I don’t come off as too much of a braggart or a sycophant.) *shudders*
So, am I the best blogger out there? No siree.
Do I deserve some recognition? Why not. I have worked my butt off, and *blushes while murmuring* I’ve even received some incredible feedback, on occasion.
Do I deserve to WIN an award then? Sure…?
More than any other blogger I’m up against? Er – no.
And therein lies the problem: there are many, many, many fantastic bloggers, all of whom are greatly respected, admired, and deserving of recognition. I am one among, erm, many…
I’m not sounding too sure of anything here, am I? All I do know is:
Writing is my passion. I don’t want to sound trite when I write. (Also, for the record, I’m not a poet.) I try my damndest to have a unique angle when I have something to say. Or, if I can’t be completely original, then to challenge myself by playing devil’s advocate and writing about every angle. I want to make people think, I want to inspire. Ultimately, I want to make my daughter proud.
Do I expect to win?
Hell no. I’d be incredibly humbled and gracious.
Even to my brothers?
To them, I’d be the very picture of nonchalance. But a fly on the wall of my home may see a slightly different picture. I would be utterly, ridiculously ecstatic. (If it didn’t sound trite, I’d say something about people like me, and honours like this…)
And while we’re being honest, I’d probably also pour myself a large glass of merlot by way of celebration. Then, with my husband playing the part of my previous MD, I’d dance around him in circles, flicking the V and singing ‘in your face’; before composing myself and maturely, demurely, savouring the rest of my vino.
If you’d like to help me hack off the old goat MD, these are the details you’ll need:
Tots100 Mum and Dad Blog Awards 2016
I’d be thrilled to be nominated for the Best Writer category. You’ll simply require my URL to do so.
Blog URL: http:///www.refinedprose.com
BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards 2016
You’ll be asked for some personal details and then you’ll need some of my credentials too:
Blog name: The Less-Refined Mind
Blog URL: https://www.refinedprose.com
Twitter ID: @LessRefinedMind
Email: [email protected]
There are several different categories, more than one of which my blog could fit but two in particular which I would really appreciate nominations for:
Fresh Voice – This category celebrates newbies and the blog must be less than 18 months old to qualify.
Some suggested ‘favourite’ posts for this category are:
Writer Category – For blogs featuring gripping or entertaining content.
My suggestions for this one would be:
Finally, if you are reading, old MD, you may like to consider me for a different category altogether…
Inspire Category – For infectious enthusiasm and encouragement for all to live and think better.
Just for you, my old ray of sunshine, here is my recommendation:
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all; for reading my blog and, of course, should you feel me worthy of nomination.