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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Coronavirus Update From New York City: May 7, 2020

I hope that all my readers are doing well, staying healthy, and staying safe.

I continue to remain physically healthy, and so does the rest of my family. We also remain financially healthy, as nobody in my family has lost jobs due to the pandemic. I have also been able to get two things done on the blogging front:

  • I had a guest post on another blog. Namely, I had a guest post on how segregation in a major city is not just a Philadelphia issue (the blogger has written about racial segregation in her home city of Philadelphia, among other things). Thanks to fellow blogger Kayla for publishing this post, and I encourage you all to check out her blog, Dear Destiny!
  • I now have a page on my blog titled “2020 Coronavirus Diary.” On that page, I have links to all of these weekly update posts on the coronavirus in New York, as well as blog posts relevant to the coronavirus. This page was created with the goal of others being able to see what the virus was like in New York City, an epicenter of it.

While I’m happy these things happened, these are really temporary distractions from the current grim reality. Last week, I made a mention of my mom’s calculation that we have sixteen friends, family members of friends, or friends of friends who have died from the coronavirus. Now, I think that count is above twenty.

My state is continuing to experience declines in hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions, and deaths. A few weeks ago, we were losing 700-800 New Yorkers a day. Now, we’re losing 200-300 New Yorkers a day. Granted, every life lost is awful, but I present this contrast between 700-800 daily deaths and 200-300 daily deaths to hopefully show others (particularly those who are eager to reopen before hospitalizations and deaths drop down significantly) that these measures, harsh as they may seem, are saving lives.

Hopefully, these positive trends in New York continue in the coming weeks. On May 15th, parts of the state will start to reopen, starting with parts of the state that haven’t been as severely affected by the coronavirus as other parts of the state (so New York City is likely not reopening on May 15th). At that, New York will start with some industries in less affected parts of the state where social distancing can still be practiced in the work that is done (for example, some forms of construction). Given how badly New York has been hit by the coronavirus, Governor Cuomo seems to be (rightly, in my opinion) taking a cautious approach to reopening the state.

So, when you’re hearing stories around this time next week about New York starting to open back up again, that may apply to people in parts of the state, but it likely won’t apply to New York City.

Do you have any outstanding questions about how I’m doing or how New York is doing? If so, feel free to ask in the comments section below!

Announcing Another New Blog Series!

One of the criticisms I’ve heard about social justice circles from the outside is that there are a lot of words we use, but do not always explain what those words mean. Some of us hear words such as TERFs, intersectionality, microaggressions, heteronormativity, and many more, but unless you’re deep in circles that deal with TERFs, intersectionality, microaggressions, or heteronormativity, you may not know what those words mean.

The knee-jerk response may be not make the effort to understand what these words mean, and just move on. Or, if your thoughts are more antagonistic to people in social justice movements, you might label one who uses these words as a “social justice warrior” or a “liberal snowflake.”

I propose a different way of interacting with these terms: familiarizing ourselves with these words that may be unfamiliar to us. In order to help familiarize ourselves and others with words or phrases commonly heard in social justice circles but misunderstood or not understood at all outside of them, I will start a new series on this blog, called “What Is _______?”

The concept of the “What Is _______?” series is that I take a term used in social justice circles that is often not used or not understood outside of those circles, explain what that term means, potentially give some examples to further clarify what that term means, and explain why it’s a term that is important to understand.

I am currently planning to write posts on the following terms (in no particular order):

  • Privilege
  • Four waves of feminism
  • Toxic positivity
  • TERFs
  • Intersectionality
  • Calling out/calling in (two terms, but these terms belong together in a post)
  • Microaggressions
  • Cultural appropriation/cultural appreciation
  • Heteronormativity
  • Safe space
  • White guilt
  • Gaslighting
  • Spoonies

I should also note that I am open to including other terms that I don’t list here. Terms that I learn about during the series, as well as terms that others think that I should talk about, are fair game. On that note, if there are any terms you think I should include that I don’t mention here, please let me know in the comments section below or at my email, blindinjustice2017@gmail.com. Even if you don’t think of a term now but think of one later, there’s no need to worry—as I’m planning on doing approximately one post in this series per month, and I have over a dozen terms here, I will be doing this series for over a year.

All of these terms are ones that are important to know, yet may seem like jargon or code to some of us. By explaining what these terms mean and why they’re so important, I’m hoping that many readers will come out with a good understanding of what these words mean. By improving our understanding of terms like these, those who are advocates will hopefully become better advocates, and those who aren’t advocates will hopefully understand what advocates are talking about when using these words.