January, 2020

I started this blog mainly so I could kep track of my recovery. In the early days, I wanted to document all sorts of tiny snippets, mainly because I hoped that one day, I’d get to a point where I could say, “Goodness, was I really like that?”. And that is how it has worked out – if I were to write a post today, it would be very different to one from a couple of years ago.

I had the stroke back in Feb/Mar 2016, and started the blog a year later, in March 2017. I wrote on the Blogger platform initially, and moved to WordPress as recently as September 2019. Blogger, by default, does not allow people to like posts, and whilst it does allow people to comment, the only three comments that I ever received were all from people who were friends in real life. According to Blogger’s statistics, I received a few tens of views per day (not much less than now) but there was never any interaction, despite almost four hundred posts. It was the community spirit of WordPress which enticed me to move.

As I started to use WordPress, to interact with other blogs, I became aware of awards. In many ways they are just an extension of the community spirit here, a means of some kind person showing appreciation for your work. But that, for me, was not what my blog was about. Don’t get me wrong – I love that I have an audience on WordPress, I love that people take the trouble to read, comment on and react to my posts, but that, for me is enough, having spent two-and-a-half years talking to myself. This cycle of giving and receiving awards was not one I wanted to get sucked into.

It is not just WordPress. I have the same attitude to other types of awards – for example the charities I work for have award systems which I deliberately steer clear of. Maybe that makes me a miserable old sod, but I’d sooner spent my limited energy getting on with my real reason for being there, rather than slapping somebody on the back.

But as a noob on here, it was an academic problem. Until recently. Recently I have fielded one proper nomination and one half-nomination (I was being sounded out for one). In both cases, the answer was a thank you, thank you, thank you – I am very grateful – but no thank you.

There. Said it. I see award-free blog badges around the place, but I wanted to say a few more words than just that, to convey my thoughts on the matter.