The Blogger Recognition Award Strikes Back.

Happy birthday to me!

Arrogant as this sounds, I have genuinely lost track of how many awards I have received for my writing. I guess I must be reasonably good at this whole stringing words together thing to get this much recognition. Either that, or I’m so abhorrently terrible that people are returning to laugh at my miserable efforts, although if that were the case I would have expected to have gone viral by now.

On this occasion the nomination comes from The Anxious History Teacher, who’s blog can be found here.

Accepting the reward requires me to acknowledge the person who nominated me, give a brief explanation of why I started blogging, provide two bits of advice for new bloggers, & to nominate a few other bloggers deserving of the award. Having previously been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award, I will do my best not to repeat myself!

Why did I start Diary of a Disabled Person?

There are a lot of misconceptions & generalisations made about disabled people. We’re perceived as weak & helpless, often naive, innocent, or even straight-up stupid. We’re often seen to be in need of help, whether that be impromptu healing prayers in front of an audience, or a flamboyant display of assistance, also in front of an audience for some reason, that actually does more harm than good. When it comes to our fictional portrayals, we’re often depressed plot-points that a protagonist uses to give themselves motivation, and as such are usually accompanied by one lone violinist who remains remarkably off camera.

These stereotypes have done significant damage to disabled people & need to be educated against if they are to change. The lessons you remember from school are usually the humourous ones, so if humour helps teach maths, I’m sure it can do the same for equality.

2 Pieces of Advice.

  1. Keep a regular posting schedule. The majority of the time my blog posts are published on a Sunday. There is, of course, some variance in that depending on other things going on around me, but for the most part it can be predicted when a blog post will appear. That means people keep coming back. My viewer count always goes up on a Sunday morning, even before I’ve had chance to publish anything.
  2. Keep it varied. TV series that run for too long or too many seasons get stale very quickly, & regular blogging eventually runs the same risk. However, you can extend the longevity of your work by keeping it varied. Some weeks I will discuss personal experiences & anecdotes, other times it will be issues surrounding ableism supplemented with my experience, & at other times I publish short stories. There are photos, videos, & multiple social media platforms all helping to keep my content fresh (hopefully).

My Nominations:

Once again, I’d like to thank The Anxious History Teacher for this nomination, & I’d also like to say congratulations to all of my nominees.

The Blogger Recognition Award.

The Blogger Recognition Award is used to celebrate high-quality, well-written blogs and was deservingly won by Being Aunt Debbie a few weeks ago. She has since nominated me for the reward for which I am very grateful. Her blog can be found here: https://beingauntdebbie.com/.

In order to accept the reward the nominee must produce a post thanking the person who nominated them, describe how their blog started, give two pieces of advice to new bloggers, and make a few nominations of their own. This slightly different approach to accepting an award provides a refreshing and insightful glance into the world of blogging itself, and what it is actually like to be a blogger.

blogger_award

How This All Began:

I had been toying with the idea of starting a blog for some time, aware that I could do so for free and in a relatively short time. Jarred spent a great deal of time encouraging me to do this, boosting my self-esteem and offering support, particularly of the caffeinated kind. Thus, one afternoon after the January exam season, I decided to set up Diary of a Disabled Person, a name that had sprung into my mind in the shower the night before.

I wanted my blog to be distinguishable from other blogs that discussed similar topics, in particular taking a humourous approach to interest readers who hadn’t had experience of disability themselves, or hadn’t encountered it frequently in those around them. After all, wheelchair users don’t need to tell other wheelchair users what it’s like to be in a wheelchair. I wanted to educate, discuss the areas where ableism still exists in the world, and to make people laugh at the many mishaps and scrapes I found myself in on a daily basis.

As I began to publish content I noticed that I was receiving a lot of positive attention from other wheelchair users, which meant that these people felt I was representing them well. This gave me a massive boost to self-esteem, giving me the confidence to pitch articles to Cracked.com.

Perhaps the biggest positive of writing this blog, though, is not the support and self-esteem boosts I have encountered, but is the fact that writing about the negative events in my life that lead to disability and depression helped me to emotionally process these situations. While still very much depressed, I have found that writing enables me to think logically about my emotional response to various circumstances, and I have been able to focus on the things that truly matter.

Diary of a Disabled Person has grown and developed significantly over the past 18 months and shows no sign of stopping. I am here for the ride as much as my readers are.

My Advice to New Bloggers:

Don’t be afraid of negative feedback: I try not to be offended if someone offers me genuine, constructive criticism on my blog. These sentiments can be used as guidance to improve your blog, make it more readable and inclusive, and increase your readership. At the end of the day it isn’t you who reads your blog but your readers.  I also try not to take offence to anyone who trolls my writing, making negative comments for the sake of it. Often enough they will make a mistake proving that they haven’t so much as glanced at your actual work, and therefore there is nothing constructive to be drawn from their comments. There are people out there who live to troll; let them – it’s usually all they have in life.

Blogging is a commitment: an essential aspect of blogging is the ability to maintain the blog over a long period of time. This might take some money to cover the costs of a web domain and some basic advertising, but most of all it takes time. Producing content, advertising, and updating a website all take time, and even though you might have time when you set up the blog, be aware that changing demands may limit the time you have for blogging in the future. Ultimately blogging whilst keeping up other aspects of personal and professional livelihoods is viable, but is more difficult than most people assume.

My Nominees:

Seeing M.E In Reality: https://seeingmeinreality.com/

The Disability Diaries: https://disabilitydiaries.com/

Thinking out Loud: https://www.thinkingoutloud-sassystyle.com/

KimiBlack: https://kimiblack.wordpress.com/

Wheelescapades: https://wheelescapades.com/

My Fitness Journey with Fibro: https://myfitnessjourneywithfibro.wordpress.com/

As you may well be aware this now takes me up to a total of 5 awards received by Diary of a Disabled Person in the last year! Let’s hope I can continue to expand my readership and fan-base, taking my writing to ever new heights.

4 Awards; Oh Wait, Never Mind – Make That 5!!!

It appears to be some kind of blogger award season, because in the past week I received to nominations for different awards, but two separate bloggers.

The first nomination came from My Fitness Journey with Fibro (https://myfitnessjourneywithfibro.wordpress.com/), and is the Sunshine Blogger Award. This recognises positivity and creativity in a blog, and I will accept it this weekend.

Image description: the Sunshine Blogger Awared logo. A white circle with the award's name placed over a field of sunflowers.

The second nomination came from Being Aunt Debbie (https://beingauntdebbie.com/), and is the Blogger Recognition Award. This award highlights high-quality, well-written blogs from across the internet, and I will accept this one in a couple of weeks. I want to keep my content varied; I wouldn’t want you getting bored of acceptance speeches!

Image description: the Blogger Recognition Award logo. The text is in the centre of a simple wreath, all black & white.

I offer a big thank you to both of the above; keep an eye out for the upcoming posts!