‘God is a bad word, Mummy’ scolds Museum Girl whilst Museum Boy demonstrates deep breathing, with liberal use of hand movements.
I’m in shock, you see. Whilst making the kids’ tea, I remembered to tune in to see the UK Blog Awards 2019 announcements. This blog, Museum Mum, had been selected as a finalist in the UK Arts and Culture category. Having admired the other blogs on the shortlist, I had already picked the frontrunner – and it wasn’t my work. I was delighted to have got this far and didn’t expect any more.
I’m completely overwhelmed as Scarlett Roitman, Judge for the Arts and Culture Category announces that Museum Mum is the winner. Museum Boy jumps up and down with me in the kitchen, tea instantly abandoned. I hadn’t realised how close joy is to trauma, until I find myself weeping, tears of joy, but tears nonetheless.
A few weeks on, the shock has subsided and I’m now able to call myself ‘an award-winning blogger’ without squealing. Mostly.
Winning this award has already brought recognition on a national level, an influx of new followers, and a flurry of new conversations in my inbox. There’s plans for a winners dinner, and promise of training and networking opportunities. But do you know the biggest thing this award has given me? Self-acceptance.
I’ve blogged intermittently on Museum Mum for five years. Most of this time I have been plagued with doubt and self-criticism. Is my work any good? Why would anyone be interested in what I have to say? Nagging self-imposed missed deadlines pass me by in the endless carousel of family life and work, and I never get as much up on the blog as I hope.
So to have my blog independently assessed and chosen as the best in its field is the most incredible validation of my work. It’s an acknowledgement that what I am doing is enough, that I am enough. With this liberation from the tyranny of guilt comes a renewed creative energy, and I’m genuinely excited about what lies ahead for the blog.
As in all the best award acceptance speeches, I want to thank many people. To my readers, thank you. Your support has kept me going even when I had a million and one valid reasons not to. Thank you to my partner who is helping me work out how to carve out more headspace and time for this creative endeavour, and embraces our family museum visits with more enthusiasm than even I. Thank you to my kids, for being you and teaching me what it’s really like to visit a museum as a family. Thank you to all the travel and culture bloggers whose work inspires me, I look forward to getting to know you even better in the years to come. Thank you to the cultural attractions who invite me to review, some of my best content is made possible through your special access. And thanks, of course, to the Arts and Culture Judge Scarlett Roitmann of Diary of A Londoness, and the UK Blog Awards – I’m truly honoured that you think my content is worthy of this recognition.