Monday Notes: Award-Winning Blog

A lot of times, I do things based on how I feel in the moment. I attribute this to a strong sense of intuition.

This year, my gut led me to judge the Florida Writers Association’s (FWA’s) Royal Palms Literary Awards (RPLA). I had done it before, but it was a long time ago. I felt it was time for some writerly service.

When I read the guidelines, I saw there was a new category: blogging. “What?” I thought. “I have a blog. Will this be a conflict of interest?” I decided it wouldn’t be. FWA is hella professional; they use rubrics and very careful directions, so I made a firm decision to go for it.

When I read that entries could be singular or a series, again, I was a bit excited. “I’ve done many series,” I thought. But which would be appropriate?

It was between Corona Chronicles and Mental Health Matters. I based my decision on stats. Both series were released during 2020, but Mental Health Matters was pretty successful in terms of readership.

Entries were limited by word count, so I had to decide which part of the series I’d submit. Again, I based it on stats, not on which ones I personally liked. According to WordPress, the following were hits:

So, I got all of my materials together and emailed them.

Months later, I was quite surprised to learn I was a semi-finalist.

Then, over the weekend, during the virtual ceremony, I was again surprised to learn I’d actually won. FWA awarded me first place in the blogging category!

But guess what? I wasn’t as excited as I was the first time I won a writing award, and here’s why:

  • I’m a different person. I’ve learned not to rely on awards to make me feel good about myself. Sure, I’m happy, but I’m not ecstatic. The first time I won was 2016, and I was still developing my identity outside of external rewards, so it was still exciting because I was associating it with my self-worth. Today, I know awards and compliments are not connected to how great of a person I am.
  • Awards mean something in the writer community. This second award gives me credence in the writer world. I can add this to my CV when publishers ask for it. I can include it in my bio. It means something because other people believe it means something. I get that and use it accordingly.
  • Comments on my blog are the real reward. And they are no match for any award. The other day, I legit teared up at a blogger’s words because it was so authentic. This has happened before. Anytime someone tells me they understand what I’ve said, or a story resonates with their experience, or I’ve helped them feel heard and less alone, I feel a sense of purpose and deep satisfaction. That’s something a state award can’t give me.

So, yes. I’m appreciative and proud of myself for having won another award for writing, specifically for something I literally do for free just for authenticity and connection. However, I do know that it is not the end-all be-all for my talent. What truly matters is how I’m impacting the world with my words. And for that I’m truly grateful.



106 thoughts on “Monday Notes: Award-Winning Blog

  1. I believe your right. If I had to follow guidelines and rules I’d personally lose interest. On the other hand, doing something I truly enjoyed and helping others out is a much stronger reward in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “ I was still developing my identity outside of external rewards, so it was still exciting because I was associating it with my self-worth”

    This echoes exactly where I was when I first started my blog…at first it was all about how many likes a post got and my heart and mood would soar or dip depending on the outcome.

    Slowly but surely (and for my own sanity) I’ve managed to disentangle my self worth from how a post fares. I started my blog to help others with my content (if I can) and I enjoy connecting with other people through that content, which is a whole different ball game to seeing how many like or follows I get as a reflection of how good I am at this blogging lark.

    Love your perspective and congrats on your award, clearly well deserved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and thank you for sharing your experience, too! Everything changes when you do something simply because you enjoy it, as opposed to filling a void that can never be filled with external validation 😉

      Like

  3. Congratulations! Whether or not you “need” it doesn’t matter, it’s awesome that you won. Especialyl since you didn’t even know there was a blog award in the first place, but then decided to go for it anyway (and your blog is awesome, so very well deserved).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing!!… Congratulations!!… as change is the law of life and you are letting your heart do the talking, no doubt every day, and your thoughts, will be different and unique… “When you are truly inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project… your mind transcends its limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world! Then those dormant forces, faculties and talents inside you become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” (Patanjali )… 🙂

    Until we meet again….
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dr D! I feel like you share in this award. I could have never imagined the impact of this series on your students and others. It reminds me of that saying about taking a step and wings growing or something like that lol

      Anywho, I appreciate you. This, you know 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First of all I would like to say a huge Congratulations for this award.
    And secondly I really likes your perspectives regarding this recognition and so agreed with you here.
    You are already doing great and there’s no doubt in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Award-winning blogger is , I personally think , a good Samaritan on earth . You are aspiring creature for we all . I went through your Monday Notes …… I am grateful to pen you . I am a new entrant in this field . Though started in 2014 on Blogger.com under title PLEB INDIA . But I deleted all that . Yet I’m writing on that under the title Pleb India along with on WordPress . Your blogs are inspiring , rejuvenating and moderate . If you have time , please , please , please read my blogs also .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for these words. I appreciate them, and I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my blog. Sending you lots of good vibes as you begin your new blog. I’ll be sure to check it out.

      Like

      1. Please read my blogs at least on word press ‘ arbindkumar475151597.wordpress.com’ . Other is on ‘nailyvihar.blogstate.com ‘ and third is on wix(space) ‘ Pleb India ‘ …..ARBIND KUMAR .

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations Galore on winning the award!!!
    You did it again – for why I love your blog and why you deserve this award. Your notes about how you won this award, how it is not anymore connected to your self worth, yet how useful it would be in your writing career – this authentic sharing resonates, inspires and teaches me to stay embodied in these perspectives. I agree with you about the conversations on the blog space being the most rewarding. I have time and again let go of opportunities to enter competitions that attracted my attention, for lack of time. My time on this blog platform itself takes priority for how fulfilling it is. Rest whatever is mine will follow I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pragalbha ❤ I'm glad you get what I am saying. It's not that I'm not proud or even happy. It's just that my priorities have shifted, and my identity is less living in ego today. Things like this show exactly how your life can take on a different meaning when these shifts happen.

      And YES…applying for things like this take an immense amount of time, because you have to ensure you're following exact directions, so I understand anyone's decision not to engage lol

      Thank you again! I appreciate all you've said.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Of course, an award feels as good as the occasional scratch on the back! One is relieved to know; those words were not just interpreted as a self-indulgent pursuit.
    However, as you were saying, the reasons to write do not spring from the desire for money, nor fame or glory. It is the silent hope that our words will bear fruit and live on in the minds of others.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations, Katherin. That’s wonderful about the award. You’re not just a talented, hard-working writer. you’ve been a thoughtful catalyst for engagement, fostering community across a diverse readership on a platform that’s a miracle but a minefield at the same time. It’s been a privilege reading you. and having gotten to know you a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jason ❤ I appreciate that. I do work pretty hard at blogging, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like hard work at all, if that makes sense.

      I'm happy to have met you here, too.

      Like

  10. Congratulations, Katherin!! I’m always so impressed by the number of comments on your blog posts and the level of engagement. You respond to every comment with genuine warmth. It has always been my pleasure to read your posts and connect with you through our comments. I feel like you’re a friend of mine and you are in many ways.
    Your award is well-deserved!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Congratulations! And I love the way you parsed the process of submitting and your response to winning. In my community of kidlit writer friends there are so many “pinch me, I got another starred review” posts and I know it all helps with promotion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Laura ❤

      That's exactly what it helps with! I'm glad you get what I'm saying here. I value it as far as it can be valued in my life, and I'm super appreciative, of course. But we can't get too wrapped up in all of the things, lest we lose ourselves.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I understand your stance on awards as I feel the same way, but they do hold a lot of weight. And, “Then, over the weekend, during the virtual ceremony, I was again surprised to learn I’d actually won. FWA awarded me first place in the blogging category!”

    Yaaasss! Congratulations, Kathy!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful!! And congratulations! I’m trying to decide what I like most about the post because there are so many things in addition to just cheering FWA for recognizing a great writer! First, it’s your recap of your decision and selection process which gives good insight. Second, it’s your overall process of growth to self-acceptance and that is INSPIRING! But I think mostly it’s because you show up in your posts and I’m so grateful to connect to you in this virtual way!

    Congratulations!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Awww ❤ Thank you! I appreciate everything you've said here, because this is what I was trying to convey. Everything we do has a rationale. It's not bad or good; it just is, you know? When you know better, you do better. I'd no more dismiss the idea of awards than the writing itself. It's just now I know the purpose and it's a bit different for me.

      Thank you so much for understanding what I've said here 😉

      Liked by 2 people

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