I know that a lot of bloggers do not appreciate awards and I know why, and they have valid reasons not to accept. It does seem like a chain letter. A chain award, I guess. But I also do think that it can be very subjective. When I got my first award (Liebster Award), I knew it was given sincerely.
It all depends on who gives it to you — is it someone you have great communication with or, at least, someone who visits you often (LIKEs, FOLLOWs or even just comments), OR is it someone who visited you just once or twice, just recently, maybe just gave one comment, if ever he did?
Make this quick mental checklist. Ask yourself:
(1) “Has this person visited and communicated with me enough?” (Because if not, what makes you so sure he’s read anything from and explored your blog to even declare he likes it enough to give you an award?)
(2) “Has this person exchanged views and ideas with me even if it’s just at his own blog?” (Because sometimes, people do probably visit your blog and just don’t say or do anything, but it doesn’t mean they don’t like what they see. So at least, give this person the benefit of the doubt)
(3) “What do I have in my blog that is good to like?” (You of all people should be the best judge of whether there is anything worth liking there, any quality posts you’ve done, any that people LIKE-d or commented most on)
If your answer for #1 and #2 is NO and if, with regards to #3, you are having a hard time convincing yourself that you have posted anything of quality, then do your Math and get a clue: No, he’s probably not really that into you (just to sort of borrow a quote). If anything, this is a good way and time to rethink your blogging goals. I’ve said it before that if you care about what you write, or blog for that matter, others may care about it as well.
That said, accepting the award is really up to you. You can choose not to participate, and any reason not to participate will be valid — no time to do the “rules”, not interested, etc. No one is twisting anyone’s arm. Just decline it politely. No, that is not a requirement, either, but that is called proper etiquette.
I don’t mind awards. Of course, I will not be a hypocrite and deny that I hankered for at least one, just to feel that I was doing something right. But if I didn’t, I wasn’t going to sulk about it, either, and would just try to do better. I’ve gotten three so far, two of them I have yet to post. Because I know they were given sincerely, it makes me feel appreciated. So sorry if I don’t feel sorry that anyone reading this may think this award-giving thing is pathetic.
If your concern are the “rules,” you don’t need to follow everything. In my book, if you are given the award, you’ve already done your job right, so you certainly do not need to do anything more. It’s not even supposed to be called a nomination because no one’s going to win over all the others, and who’s gonna be the supreme judge of that anyway? It’s an award is an award is an award. The moment it is given to you, it is yours and you can do what you want with it. Some of us have actually ignored the supposed “rules” or tweaked them to our liking. The only one who can demand the award back is the giver and so far, I don’t think anyone has ever done it, but don’t quote me on that.
Personally, I’m doing them because I like answering questions and sharing myself. I was one of those kids perenially asking others to write on her slambook (guess what? I still have those old slambooks). In fact, I can still totally do that, but others have grown to be too “mature” to bother; I think they just lost the fun of being young.
If accepting an award brings in more readers/followers, too, why not? Isn’t that what blogging is about? Sharing. Some will say “I just write for myself.” Sure, I write for myself, too, because it makes me happy. Recently, Lily of Such Small Hands posted the question, “Should I write? Should I not write? What should I write? And why? And for whom?” My answer: “Write what you want in all honesty and fairness because you love it and you do it for your own happiness (if it makes others happy, that’s going to be your bonus).”
See what I did there at the end. Because let’s be honest. If you don’t want anyone reading your blog, then go to your settings and set it on Private so no one will ever get to read it but you. No one’s telling you not to do that. A blog is just a modernized diary and if you want to keep it locked, it’s all up to you. In fact, that should be a great way to keep awards away from you. But if you intentionally keep it public, no one’s going to believe you don’t care about having people read it. There’s a conflict of interest right there.
From where I stand, this is how I see it: Awards are ways to show others appreciate you. So I will give awards to those blogs that fit my idea of what the awards are all about. Even if their owners don’t want to participate. Because in the end, it’s all about my appreciation of them and how they inspire me to keep writing.
Do you agree, disagree or just agree to disagree with me? Comments are welcome, no matter which side you are on. This is a democratic virtual country. Well, except if you decide to be nasty because I intend to keep this blog war-free. 😉