Part I: Blushes. A writer I admire likes me back! I know, not because I sent her a 'do you like me - yes, no, maybe' note, but because she gave me an award! It looks like this:
Yeah! I have so many people to thank... This also means that I'm to give 10 awards to other emerging writers I admire, so promote your latest projects in the comments!
Part II: The blogging life. It really is nice to get noticed by someone you read, because it can be a rough, rough world out here in the feminist blogosphere. In case you're thinking of starting your own, here are the steps in creating a feminist blog:
1. Sign up. This is not as easy as you'd think. First, you have to choose a user name. Your first name is taken. Your nickname is taken. Your last name... taken. You begin to realize that you aren't as individualistic as you thought. Try alternate spellings of your first, nick, and last names - but they're all taken. Try plays on words, foreign-language equivalents of you name, names of your favorite characters from films and novels - it turns out that all your interests are trite, and you aren't as witty as you'd like to think either. Finally, in desperation, look around the room and name yourself after whatever happens to be in view - bluechair or tatteredcarpet, perhaps. It is done, set in stone - you have a blog name. You immediately think... 'You know, I don't really like my name much...' This will be your online identity... forever. Unless, of course, you decide to change it. Now, choose a URL. Plan an hour for this, because your first 50 ideas... taken.
2. Post. You will love it. You've formed words and put them into the world. In your eyes, your post is beautiful. You will wait for readers and comments. No one stops by to confirm your genius. Your beautiful post is one of billions of posts, floating unnoticed in the ether.
3. Repeat step 2, repeat step 2, repeat step 2...
4. When you begin to wonder if blogging might be a dumb hobby, go do something else for awhile, resolving to forget about the blog entirely. I recommend playing Wii. Do not delete your blog. After a couple of weeks, you'll want to write a feminist critique of Wii - for your blog.
5. Finally, someone you don't personally know will comment. You'll install Site Meter and realize that you have tens - that's right tens! - of regular readers, plus tons of people coming in through Google looking for... well, this is a PG site, folks, so I won't tell you what they're looking for... The realization that someone is reading will cause two conflicting desires- the drive to work harder and make your blog more insightful and eloquent, and the desire to sit in front of Site Meter all day, not posting, but simply watching what odd searches lead people to you, imagining their bizarre lives. (I get at least 10 hits a day from people looking for 'sexy turkey' - it took me awhile to realize that people wanted pictures of women (or men) from Turkey, not shots of poultry striking provocative poses).
6. Trolls will find you. Some will call you dumb for claiming that sexism exists. Others will use sexist language to abuse you, telling you that you must be stupid or icky because you're female. Most will do both, simultaneously. Do not be tricked into thinking you can save them from their meanness and stupidity with your rational arguments - the mark of a troll is that they don't respond to logic, they just show up to hurl vacuous insults. Every feminist blogger has to decide how to handle her own trolls, but there are a variety of tactics.
7. About this time, though, you'll realize that other, sane people are leaving really interesting comments on your posts, sending you insightful emails, and sometimes even referencing your words in their own posts. This will make you so happy. You've found a feminist community! You'll realize that blogging really is satisfying, even if it never gets you that book deal. (If anyone wants to offer me a book deal, though... I'm listening...) And maybe, just maybe, someone whose words inspire you will acknowledge you by giving you an award.
And then what will you do? Repeat step 2, repeat step 2, repeat step 2...
You'd didn't expect to now get an award every day, did you? Perhaps you should go play some Wii...
(Troll art via, hands via)