I won an award on Saturday night.
But before I tell you all about it and share some pics, I firstly need to say a thank you. To you! For reading this blog of mine.
My blog is now five years old. I started it in 2012 in early pregnancy when I found myself unable to walk for about a month after seriously hurting my back. It was truly a rubbish time and yet now I can see that without that little setback, Pouting In Heels would never have been born. Isn’t it funny how things turn out?
When I started, I had no great plans. I just wanted to write stuff that I’d hoped would resonate with women, whose lives were a bit like mine. I hoped to be an authentic, honest and compassionate voice and I yearned to bare my soul and share my stories and the things that I’ve learned through so many mistakes and personal failings.
And so I just began. I wrote for the need to write and didn’t even really think about an audience. And then it grew. From a handful of readers (thanks friends) it turned into a hundred, then a thousand and now attracts on a good month -when I manage to get my act together and blog often- anything from eight to twelve thousand readers a month. These aren’t the hugest figures in the blogging world, far from it sadly and some months, when life gets in the way and I struggle for time, they are woefully a lot less. But what I do have – and what I’m really proud of – is a wonderful bunch of loyal, smart and supportive readers that stick around. Seriously, you guys are the best and without you, well this blog of mine would be just me talking to myself. (And I do enough of that already.)
I often forget people read this online space I’ve created and am forever amazed when people tell me they’ve enjoyed a post or that something I’ve written has touched them. That feeling of utter joy when someone says something like that to me, never ever goes away. It’s why I do what I do and why I love it so much.
So thank you. All of you. And now onto the awards!
On Saturday, I joined around 200 people at The Principal Hotel in Manchester to attend the first Northern Blog Awards. It was an amazing evening. And not just because – much to my astonishment – I won.
I’m a proud Northern woman. From Rochdale originally but now living in South Yorkshire, I’m proud of my roots, my broad accent and the areas that I’ve lived in, know well and love. So to be in my old home city, surrounded by talented, inspirational and hard working content creators from the North of the country was pretty damn amazing.
There was delicious food, there was booze a plenty and I attended with two of the loveliest and most glamorous women that I’ve met through the online world – Tracey from Naughty Forty Diaries (one of my favourite blogs) and Jo who has the most stunning Instagram feed and was also nominated for an award. (Jo sadly didn’t win but has the most beautiful photos so please take a look if you get the chance.)
We laughed, we chatted, we met up with fellow blogger / social media pals and tucked into a tasty three course meal. And then it was time for the awards. I was up – against stiff competition – for Best Parenting Blog (Mums) and hand on heart, I really didn’t think I stood a chance. But I was wrong because I won!
Honestly, I still can’t quite believe it. And I am so, so thrilled. (Forget the nonchalance, I’m as kiddy as a kipper.)
There have been many times over the past five years when I’ve wanted to quit this blog. When it’s felt impossible to continue, when I’ve lost confidence or seen paid work dry up or even come up against some dreadful behaviour from a fellow peer. But yet somehow I haven’t been quite able to let it go.
And so for me, this award means such a lot. I see it as a giant pat on the back and I’m so very, very grateful.
In my short speech (when I was battling nerves and frantically trying to cobble some words together on the spot), I talked about how the award was for all the mums out there who struggled with parenting and work.
And I meant it.
I also said how it was for the all the mums who share their stories with other mums to help them make sense of this crazy world of parenting.
And I meant that too.
Because I know how bloody hard it all is. I am a mum. A proud but exhausted mum who loves her children and wants to be the best parent I can be.
But. I’m also Kate. A woman who loves to write and work and travel and be creative and earn a decent living. A woman who has worked hard to carve out a career that she loves and harder still to find her own personal voice.
So I am so happy to receive this award. Over the moon in fact!
Thank you all for being here with me. And thank you Northern Blog Awards for finally celebrating what we all know to be true! That there is bags of talent and soul as well as the friendliest people, to be found ‘oop North.
Here’s a few snapshots from the night. (Many thanks to Tracey – Naughty Forty Diaries – and The Vain Photos for the pics.)
I also just want to take a moment to say a huge congratulations to the wonderful Hannah from Make Do & Push, Victoria from Apartment Number 4 and Sammi Jo from Mother Freckle who also scooped very well deserved awards. If you aren’t following them already, please do check them all out. They’re bloomin’ amazing. x