Blog Wrap-Up: Calendar Year 2020

Okay, so I know this is my blog wrap-up post for this calendar year, but in typical 2020 fashion, not even this wrap-up post could be done as normal…

Given the surge in COVID in New York City, I just wanted to give a brief update on COVID here right now, before going on to the main subject of the post, which is the blog wrap-up for this year. Here are some quick updates:

  • Everyone in my immediate family is still COVID-free.
  • That being said, the positivity rate continues to rise where I am, and in the zip code just north of mine, the test positivity rate is approaching a whopping 13%. Needless to say, I still very much feel like we are heading in the wrong direction where I am, in my part of New York City (southern Queens).
  • For the first time since mid-May, New York State is reporting over 100 deaths a day from COVID on a regular basis.
  • For those worried about what I’m doing over the holidays, worry not—I am not traveling during them, and I’m taking care of myself right where I am.

I know this is not the typical way to start a blog wrap-up post for the calendar year, but I figured that it would be better to give a COVID update now, during the middle of the holidays, instead of waiting completely until after the holidays.

Okay, now for my originally scheduled wrap-up post…

Honestly, at times it has felt like just too much to keep up with everything, both personally and blog-wise. I’m guessing that many of my readers might say the same—that it was a struggle to keep up with all that was going on.

And yet, we persevered. We’ve made it through 2020.

In light of all that went on this year in the United States (and in the world), talking about what this year in blogging has been like for me feels a little insignificant. That being said, I would like to highlight some pages on my blog that seem relevant, given all that is going on right now:

  1. My Coronavirus Diary page. This page classified as “Coronavirus Diary” is broken up into two categories: the weekly updates from New York City (something I did for a couple of months when the pandemic was particularly bad in my hometown) and blog posts about injustices related to COVID-19.
  2. My blog’s page on racial issues. While I have some posts on that page that precede the killing of George Floyd, some of my older content is as relevant as ever, in light of Mr. Floyd’s death. Some posts that may be worth a read (especially if you’re someone who’s followed the blog in the past few months) include ones on how institutional racism affects policing, how the fight for African American Civil Rights is not over, and what white guilt is.
  3. The page I have for the “What Is” blog series. The goal of this series is to hopefully help many of us better understand terms that are often used in social justice circles that some of us may struggle to understand.
  4. The page I have for “blog advice” posts. Since I’ve gained a substantial following, I want to make sure that my own tips on blogging get passed down to both current and future bloggers. I will say that this is taking a back seat to my COVID update posts for now, but whenever this pandemic settles down (and I really believe it’s a “when” and not an “if”), I will continue giving blogging advice.

I want to end this wrap-up post by offering a few “thank-yous”:

First, thank you to those who nominated me for blogging awards. This includes Em at Invincible Woman on Wheels, for the Ideal Inspiration Blogging Award; the blog Living Everyday, for the Outstanding Blogger Award; and Keith V at On My Mind Today for the Blogger Recognition Blog Award.[1]

Thank you, of course, to all my readers this year. I know many people are feeling quite fatigued from all the screen time we’re having, so I don’t take lightly the fact that people are using a little bit of that screen time by reading my blog.

A thank you goes to all the essential workers, such as those in grocery stores, those keeping mass transit running, fire fighters, and many others who kept things functioning as best as they can during COVID. Many of these people had to deal with COVID in their workplaces yet did the best they could to make sure things were kept running—without help from our essential workers during this time, it would be impossible for us to see our most basic needs met.

Most of all, thank you to our EMTs, nurses, doctors, and other medical workers who’ve been helping during this time of pandemic. I am grateful for the work you all do. You all deserve better than the ignoring of basic public health guidance that has led to many of you feeling overwhelmed.

Finally, I just want to wish that everyone has a healthy and safe holiday season.

I will not be publishing a post for the rest of the week, in observance of New Year’s Day.


[1] I still need to do an award post, as this too has taken a back seat for now to the COVID update posts. That being said, I do want to at least acknowledge that I got nominated for this award!

Blogging Awards: To Accept or Not to Accept?

A winner’s medal. (Not that I receive any for winning a blog award, but this seems appropriate since we’re talking about winning things.)

As some of my readers may’ve seen, I accepted another blogging award in the past couple of weeks. I’ve tended to enjoy accepting these awards and “paying it forward” to other bloggers by nominating deserving bloggers for those awards.

However, I also realize that not all bloggers have the same attitudes I do about awards. I’ve heard of bloggers who have an indifferent attitude about awards, and bloggers who even dislike accepting them. Given the differing attitudes about awards, I think that a good follow-up to my recent blog award acceptance is to express my own thoughts about blog awards, and give room for open conversation about them in the comments section below.

So…blogging awards: To accept or not to accept?

Really, it’s all up to you. You, the recipient of the award, can choose to accept or not accept the award, and I think there are valid reasons to accept and valid reasons not to accept. And, if you accept the award, you can choose what that acceptance of the award looks like.

Therefore, instead of giving a definitive “you must accept” or “you must not accept,” I think it would be helpful to outline some benefits I’ve seen to accepting blog awards through award acceptance posts, as well as some pitfalls.

Among the benefits I’ve seen for accepting blog awards include the following:

  • These award acceptance posts give an opportunity to share things about myself that I would otherwise not share.
  • The award acceptance posts tend to give me an opportunity to highlight the work of deserving bloggers, through nominating said bloggers for the award.
  • I really enjoy sharing good news about myself and my blog.
  • Not that I have ever intended this to be a benefit, but it seems like my blog following grows by a decent amount after I accept an award nomination.

But, I have also noticed some pitfalls to the blog award posts. Here are a few pitfalls I’ve seen:

  • Blog award posts, and particularly award posts where you need to nominate other bloggers for the award, take a lot of work and time. Honestly, identifying other deserving bloggers is the most time-consuming part of a blog award post for me, and formulating my own questions for other bloggers’ blog award acceptances is also a time-consuming process.
  • While I enjoy sharing more things about myself, some questions from some blog award posts may require people to answer questions about themselves they might not feel comfortable answering in a public realm.
  • I haven’t gotten to this point as a blogger yet, but I’ve seen some bloggers get nominated for awards often enough that accepting every award post would mean more award posts a month than they might like.

The decision on whether to publish an award acceptance post or not should come down to one thing and one thing only: whether you feel that the award posts are a net benefit for you and your blog, or a net drawback. If it is a net benefit, then go ahead and publish those award posts. If it’s a net drawback, then you may want to consider something other than a traditional award post—what you should consider depends on what the biggest drawbacks and benefits are for you. Personally, if I get to the point that I get so many blog award posts that it would be too time-consuming and get me too much away from the focus of my blog (outweighing any benefits), then I might consider doing something similar to what Ashley at Mental Health @ Home does—in some form of wrap-up post (for me, possibly a wrap-up post for the year, as opposed to a wrap-up post for the week in Ashley’s case), thanking bloggers who nominated the blog for certain awards.[1]

Am I missing any benefits or drawbacks to accepting blog award posts? Do you accept blog award posts, and why have you reached your decision? Feel free to talk about these things and anything else relevant to blogging awards in the comments section below!


[1] If you want to read a different point-of-view on whether to accept or not to accept blog awards, I recommend reading Ashley’s post on this topic. She’s coming at it from a different perspective than I do, but I think it’s worth the read: https://mentalhealthathome.org/2019/12/08/do-you-do-blog-awards/

The Outstanding Blogger Award!

So I found out recently that I’ve been nominated for another blogging award! This time, I was nominated by the blog Living Everyday for an Outstanding Blogger Award! Being nominated is an honor.

These are the rules for the award:

  1. Provide the link to the creator’s original award post.
  2. Answer the questions provided.
  3. Create 7 unique questions.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator, nor the blogger that nominated you, can be nominated.
  5. At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!

Here were the questions I got (with my answers in bold):

  1. What have you learned about yourself during the pandemic? I learned that I can be a quicker learner than I often give myself credit for. In just two months or so, I went from knowing nothing about Zoom to giving Zoom tutorials. Wild stuff.
  2. Where is your favorite place to vacation? I’m not a huge vacationer myself, but a vacation to anything historical or cultural is up my alley.
  3. What is your favorite season? Spring. It’s the time of year when the weather is getting warmer (but it’s usually not too hot) and the days are getting longer.
  4. Why did you start blogging and is it the same reason you continue? Honestly, I just wanted to talk about injustices that I and others may be blind to and/or blindly commit. Even though my blog has done other things, such as my COVID update posts and now some blog advice posts, that is the main reason why I continue blogging.
  5. Do you come from a large family? Not particularly. I only have one brother.
  6. What was your best (maybe not favorite) subject in high school? History was my best and my favorite subject in high school.
  7. Which would you rather read, fiction or non-fiction? I have a preference for non-fiction, but I would not turn down a good historical fiction book!

Here are the bloggers I’m nominating, in no particular order:

  1. Whispers of a Womanist
  2. Wheel Life Friends
  3. Indigenous Woman
  4. Food.for.Thoughts
  5. Radical Nurses
  6. Savvy + Sustainable
  7. Invisibly Me
  8. POC Stories
  9. Love Is Stronger
  10. Robby Robin’s Journey

Here are my questions for my award nominees:

  1. What have you learned about yourself during COVID? (I know, same question as one of the ones I was given, but I think it’s a good one.)
  2. What is an interest of yours you don’t think your readers are aware of?
  3. Has the focus of your blog changed over time? If so, how?
  4. Why did you decide to blog on the topic(s) you blog on?
  5. Are there any sports you are into? If so, which sports are you into, and which people or teams do you root for?
  6. What is a place you haven’t visited yet that you would like to visit?
  7. What is the best place you’ve been to? Why?

A Blog Award: The Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

During my two-week hiatus from blogging, I was nominated for the Ideal Inspiration Blog Award by Em at Invincible Woman on Wheels through this post. Thanks, Em, for the nomination!

Here are the rules for the award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer your nominator’s questions.
  3. Nominate up to 9 other bloggers.
  4. Notify your nominees.
  5. Ask 5 questions.
  6. List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award ” logo.

These were the questions that Em gave me and all the other people she nominated. My answers are in bold:

  1. Where would you be right now if you could be anywhere? Jerusalem. It’s a place I’d love to go one day just because it’s an important city for multiple major religions. Of course, even without COVID-19, I’m hesitant to go there because of safety concerns.
  2. What is the best concert you’ve ever been to, or if you’ve not been to a concert, which is the concert you’d most like to go to? I’ve never been to a concert! And, honestly, I’m not sure what concert I’d like to go to, as I’ve never been much into concerts. I’m more likely to go to a baseball game. Readers should feel free to give me recommendations in the comments below!
  3. What would your perfect day consist of if you could do anything? My perfect day would start with a breakfast that includes bacon and chocolate chip pancakes with real maple syrup (none of this “breakfast syrup” nonsense that is served at many restaurants). If soccer or Formula One is on during breakfast, all the better. I’d follow that up with a short walk—walks are centering for me spiritually, as I am of the praying type and walks are a time I often pray. Then, during the day, I would just spend quality time with friends and/or family—it doesn’t matter a whole lot what I’m doing, though (as long as it’s not illegal or so boring it puts me to sleep). I don’t need a yacht or a Ferrari to have a “perfect day.”
  4. What would be your dream 3-course meal? That’s a tough call because there’s so much food I love to eat! My answer also depends on the season I’m in, as during the summer I prefer food that’s cooler (as opposed to hot comfort food in the winter). My ideal summer meal would include fresh mozzarella and tomatoes for the appetizer, breaded chicken with a bruschetta-like topping[1] for the main course, and tartufo[2] for dessert—basically, three of the four courses I can get at my favorite Italian restaurant. My ideal winter meal includes a macaroni and cheese appetizer, steak and ale pie as the entrée,[3] and a hot fudge brownie with a scoop of ice cream on top for dessert.
  5. Let’s spread a little more blog love: Who are 5 bloggers you would recommend for me to check out? I will highlight those bloggers among the nominees below!

Here are my nominees (in no particular order). Given the current climate with racial injustice in the United States, I want to highlight bloggers who are using their blogs to advocate for racial justice in their own ways, and do so regardless of whether any or all of these blogs will do their own award posts:

  1. The Ghetto Activist: If you want a blog that educates and challenges you on Black history, White privilege, and racism, this is a blog I highly recommend. Even though I was a history major in college, posts such as the one on the East St. Louis Race Riot in 1917 have educated me on things I knew nothing about before.
  2. Black Feminist Collective: If you want to follow a blogger (well, more like a set of bloggers) that is dedicated to intersectional feminism, and feminism that includes people of color, this is one to follow.
  3. We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident: When I was early in my blogging journey, Xena’s blog was one of the first ones I found that dedicated itself to anti-racism work.
  4. Katelyn Skye Bennett: This blog is currently doing a series called “Intersected,” which explores how racism touches various aspects of peoples’ lives. I highly recommend that people read this series, as it really informs people on how racism can touch us in ways some of us may not think of.
  5. Fakequity: As with Xena’s, this is a blog with a major focus on anti-racism that I’ve been following for a long time.

These are the questions for my nominees:

  1. How did you get into blogging?
  2. What made you interested in blogging on the subject(s) you blog about?
  3. How, if at all, did the pandemic change the way you blogged?
  4. How, if at all, did the recent attention on racial injustice change the way you blogged?
  5. If you could give just one piece of advice to a new blogger, what would it be?

[1] This bruschetta recipe should give an explanation of what bruschetta is: https://www.food.com/recipe/best-ever-bruschetta-443987. The difference, of course, is that instead of bread on the bottom, it’s a breaded chicken on the bottom.

[2] Tartufo is an Italian dessert that has a chocolate shell on the outside, and then on the inside two or more flavors of ice cream plus a frozen fruit or fruit syrup in the center.

[3] I feel very nostalgic about this particular dish. My family would visit a late family member in York, England, and the first place we’d visit for food after a long flight would often be this pub that had amazing steak-and-ale pies. P.S. If you’re looking for food recommendations if you visit York (whenever the pandemic comes to pass), I have a few!

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Blog Wrap-Up: Calendar Year 2019

Around this time of year, many of us are looking back at the year—what has gone well, and what didn’t go as well as intended. As such, I thought it was appropriate that I would do a blog wrap-up for 2019, the first time I’m doing such a thing on Blind Injustice.

It was a year when I made some changes to when, and how, I shared my content. I decided to start re-publishing old blog posts sometimes (an idea I got from some other blogs that did the same), decided to change my blog post schedule, and actively use Pinterest as a way to promote my blog. For a person who has, at times in the past, been scared of change, that’s a lot of change. However, these changes have been for the better—re-publishing old blog posts has given my newer readers an opportunity to read some of my older content, my changed blog post schedule works better for me (and many of my readers, I think) than the schedule I used to have, and my post on bisexual stereotypes has been shared around a lot on Pinterest. I was particularly hesitant about using Pinterest because I was afraid of not being able to find appropriate pictures to go with my blog posts, but I’m now very glad to use that social media platform to promote this blog! Sometimes, change is a good thing.

I was also nominated for two blog awards this year, both of which were Mystery Blogger Awards. I want to yet again thank Jordyn at The Chronically Unimaginable as well as Ospreyshire’s Realm for the nominations. Even though this is technically a personal blog, I tend not to talk that much about myself, so these award nominations are a cool opportunity to share parts of myself with my readers.

Another big surprise was that I was able to pull off my LGBTQ+ Stereotypes Series. Even at this time last year, if you asked me whether I felt I was capable of pulling off such a blog post series, my answer would almost certainly be “no.” However, I’m glad that I was able to do the series, as I felt like a learned a lot just by working on it (and, as far as I can tell, many of my readers also learned a lot).

The biggest surprise this year, however, was not my willingness to change some things around or the awards I won, but the fact that my post on men and mental health got so much attention! I don’t even primarily consider myself a mental health blogger (though I have published on some mental health topics), yet that post got more views, more likes, and more comments than anything else I published this calendar year! I didn’t even think that this post was really that much better than most of my other posts, yet my post on men and mental health got attention.

I guess the theme of this wrap-up (if there is one) is that you never know what you’ll learn or get yourself into with blogging. When I started blogging, I couldn’t have dreamt of winning awards, having the discipline to do a blog series, or get as much attention as I have with some of my posts. Yet, it happened, at times I would least expect it. Blogging can be full of surprises, and a lot of good surprises, at that.

Note that I will not publish a post next Monday because it’s the week of New Year’s Day.