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Cornered Office

with Mir Kamin

I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.

To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at

Blogging awards: My love/hate relationship

Categories: A mother's work is never done, Like talking but with more typing, Now I'm free(lancing)


I am blogger, hear me… pimp myself?

In my experience, there are two kinds of bloggers out there: Those who write because they love writing, and those who write because they love attention. (Occasionally you find a third type: those who love writing and love attention, but overwhelmingly I would argue most bloggers are one or the other.) Now, you could make the argument that someone who only loves writing would never put their words “out there” for others to see, but to me having an audience reading what you write is part of the overall process. I love to write, but I also love to share that writing with others.

I don’t love attention so much, but of course to some extent it’s part and parcel of the blogging life. Put a website online and people are going to see it, comment on it, want to interact with you—that’s kind of the point. But as an introvert writing online suits me because I an interact with others in a way that’s limited; responding to comments and emails is easier for me that lots of face-to-face interaction.

Every now and then, I find myself receiving some sort of nomination or award and then I’m… deeply conflicted.

On the one hand: You like me! You really like me! Of course it’s wonderful to be recognized and appreciated. Being named an “inspiring female blogger” by REDBOOK, for example, remains one of the highlights of my career.

On the other hand: Oh, great, someone put me on some list that I’m now supposed to promote even though I hate these things. Does that sound bitchy and ungrateful? Because it feels sort of bitchy and ungrateful—after all, someone thought enough of me to put me on such a list in the first place—but when lists and awards generate criticism (sometimes deserved) and unhappiness within the community where I spend most of my working time, that’s hard.

So it feels good to be recognized, but sometimes it feels like more trouble than it’s worth to be recognized.

And don’t get me started on the sort of “award” where you get an email informing you that you’ve been nominated for Super Special Site Recognition By Our Awesome Site and all you have to do now is get all of your readers to come to our site and vote every single hour for the next six months and by the way if you win we will get you this superfantastic badge to display on your site! Those are the sorts of emails I delete immediately. When your contest is just a way to get folks to send traffic to your site, you are doing it wrong and I don’t want to participate.

So this month I find myself conflicted, because a fellow freelancer whom I really respect and admire nominated me for this “Women Who Shine” award over at Yahoo. I am flattered, and humbled, and the grand winner of this contest stands to take home $10,000. Not exactly chump change! But you win by… popular vote.

I hate this sort of thing. I feel awful begging on my blog(s) or other social networks for votes. It just feels unseemly. But at the same time: $10,000. This has probably been the most stressful year of my family’s life, in every possible way, including financially. Could that money make a big difference for us? Heck yes! And would it be nice to win such a thing aside from the money—recognition from a giant web presence? Of course.

So do I go into full-out pimp mode, reservations be damned, because there’s a wad of cash at stake? Or am I just overthinking the whole thing, anyway, and shouldn’t feel bad about asking for votes because everyone does it and I should just get over it? I don’t know. And to be perfectly honest I think part of my hesitation comes from the fact that I’m nominated in the “Mother” category and I certainly don’t feel like I deserve any mothering kudos right now. That’s my own personal baggage talking, I know, but there you have it.

Advice welcome. So far I have not shared this on my personal blog, because I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do. Thoughts?

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7 comments so far...

  • I absolutely HATE calling attention to my writing in any way, and I’m not thrilled when other bloggers frequently pimp themselveyou it you never toot your own horn. You should definitely let your readers know about Yahoo Shine. They will want to know and support you, and right now you need all the support you can get.

    Sheryl  |  September 11th, 2012 at 10:21 pm

  • This is exactly when you *should* be getting Mother kudos, when things are at their hardest and the struggle is the worst.

    Voted for you. Maybe when the time comes for me to step in the spotlight, I’ll remember this and won’t hesitate.

    Pris  |  September 12th, 2012 at 4:12 am

  • You should definitely share this with your readers. Longtime readers know your discomfort with awards and voting type deals. BUT, we also know that this year has been extremely hard in every unimaginable way and my God, you are a woman who shines. And, you deserve this, and….Yes, please share it b/c I would love it if some happy shone your way!

    elz  |  September 12th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

  • Um, girl. Writing is work, and you know and do it well, so go get paid. Use your personal blog to inform your readers, and let it go at that. Most folks would die for the recognition alone (this one would), but you have a real opportunity to get paid for what you do. GO GET PAID.

    kathykate  |  September 12th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

  • Yes, share. Take this moment. You deserve the recognition and your readers would feel privileged to be included.

    Sharon  |  September 12th, 2012 at 4:11 pm

  • I rarely comment, but I am now. Please share. We’d all be so happy to vote for you, and you are incredibly deserving of both the mom honor and the moolah.

    Grace  |  September 12th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

  • There is a difference between sharing and begging for votes, Mir. I’m glad you shared it here because I was happy to vote for you and would LOVE to see you get $10K after an absolutely sucktastic year.

    Now, if you start tweeting it every 5 minutes and writing 10 more blog posts about it, I might get a little annoyed. But probably not, because it’s $10,000 and it’s not something you do all the dang time!

    Miss Britt  |  September 12th, 2012 at 6:24 pm