If you’re a regular reader, you might remember that earlier this year I wrote about being nominated in the Northern Blog Awards.
Well the awards were on Saturday and guess what – I won!
The glittering ceremony took place at The Principal Hotel in Manchester and was attended by 200 bloggers, brands and PR types – and me.
After drinks, chat and plenty of carefully curated photo opportunities, we were treated to a delicious three course meal, followed by the main event.
One by one the winners got to go up on stage and collect their trophies, until it was time for the Best Arts and Culture Blog category. It was fantastic to hear my (blog) name read out and surreal to make my way on stage to collect my trophy.
I spent the rest of the night basking in the warm glow of congratulations from friends on social media and generally feeling pretty good about life.
It’s funny to think about, but this month marked the fifth birthday of this blog. Five years is a long time in the blogging world: it’s longer than I’ve worked in any one job, or even any particular industry. Things have changed a lot since I started writing online; I’ve seen so many wonderful blogs come and go.
I don’t think of myself as a typical or particularly successful blogger. I don’t seek out brand collaborations and I’m not trying to make this my full-time gig. Recently I wrote about how my approach to blogging had become more stripped back and I’ve focused my attention on the writing and creating side of things, rather than on promotion.
Sometimes I worry that I’m not working hard enough, or making the most of this blog, but moments like this make it worthwhile. It helps me to realise that working on any project for this long is going to involve ups and downs and periods of change or rest.
Blogging can be tough, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. I enjoy having this little online space where I can look back at old posts and instantly remember what I was thinking, reading or doing at that time. And I’m proud of the content I’ve created over the years, even the stuff that didn’t quite hit the mark.
The Northern Blog Awards is a great way to celebrate all kinds of creative bloggers and it was lovely to meet some new people. I was pleasantly surprised to find so many people at the event who weren’t nominated for an award, but who came to support a friend, gain inspiration for their own blog or make new connections.
So thanks to those who voted, you helped make it a great night!
And thanks to the organisers and all the sponsors, the goodie bag was a lovely treat to unpack when I got home from Manchester on Sunday.
Image credit: The Vain Photography