I was really pleased with the way this post turned out, and the judges seemed to like it. But, alas, I wasn’t able to pull the votes needed to stay in this competition. I really think I could have won, too. Ah well.
I realize I’m posting this a bit late. With all the losing and whatnot, I forgot to share my Week 10 post that following Saturday, as I had been doing all along. But because it’s mostly about community and writing, it seemed worthwhile to go ahead and post it now.
I’ll be back with brand new posts very soon! For now, enjoy my week 10 entry for Blogger Idol!
You know, I almost didn’t audition for this competition. I thought, “I’m just starting out with this whole blogging thing. Maybe I should just stick to writing for me.” That’s why I started blogging in the first place. It’s a platform to explore and share my thoughts about life and allow others to connect with and share in those thoughts. It’s about creating and gaining perspective. It’s about community.
But at the last minute, I went ahead and drafted an audition post. As a new blogger, I figured I could benefit from this competition in several ways:
- Improve my writing skills
- Increase my audience
- Broaden my scope with writing prompts
In the closing paragraph of my audition post, I wrote:
What I really hope to gain from this experience is… well, experience. I love writing prompts, and I love a friendly competition! I’m committed to writing as a way of honoring and giving voice to thoughts and feelings in a way that’s meaningful to others.
But aside from gaining experience, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I had hoped to at least make it to the top five (and win a prize!), but I didn’t expect it to happen. Then as the competition moved forward, and I ended up in the “bottom 3” more often than not, I watched as 10 other bloggers were eliminated, week by week. Good bloggers. Funny bloggers. Kim, Brett, Whitney and Christi, my Week 3 writing partner Cat, Mama Mash and John, Derrick, Roni and the “Wildcard” Chess. Really? Am I really still in this?!
Have I improved my writing skills? I think so. My introductory post for Week One lacked “polish,” as one of the judges pointed out. I had never written for anyone but myself before, so it made sense. I vowed to do better, and I have.
Increased my audience? Yeah. I’ve gained a handful of subscribers to my blog, and several new “likes” to FtB on Facebook and followers on my Twitter account. It was also during–and due in part to–this competition that my blog reached 10,000 views.
Broadened my scope? Well, I probably wouldn’t have collaborated on an interview post with another blogger, or write about a day in the life of my family as vampires otherwise. I’ve also written two of my favorite posts ever thanks to this competition: “Left to My Own Devices: Why I Write” and “Take Care of Each Other, Goddammit: A simple, three-step guide to maintaining your sanity,” which was shared on Facebook over 160 times!
Now that I’m in the final three, I feel like I actually have a shot at winning this thing. And I do want to win! Not just because I don’t like to lose, or because winning the Grand Prize would be awesome, but because my words are reaching a wider audience. Folks are connecting with my thoughts and sharing in my feelings. And for every person who makes a connection, I know more deeply that I’m not alone, and I hope they feel the same way. Jinkies, people are reading what I have to say…
Wow. I’m humbled.
Thank you for all your support, comments and votes along the way. I want to win this competition because I want to reach more and more people. For its first year, Blogger Idol has surpassed my expectations, and I have no doubt it will continue to grow and gain popularity. Winning would mean a lot for my blog, and a lot to me. But no matter which way this competition goes, I appreciate you and the community we’ve begun to build. I know it sounds trite, but I already feel like a winner. Do I have the potential to be the first-ever Blogger Idol? I think so–I hope so–but I’ll leave that up to YOU.
~ Chris, from the bungalow, for the Win!
“You have truly taken this contest and used it to grow and evolve your writing and your sense of community. It is clear that you have taken each week’s challenge as a chance to learn about yourself and improve your writing perspective. I have enjoyed reading your posts throughout the competition. ”
Random Girl, from Random Girl Blog
“It has definitely been a pleasure to watch you grow as a writer. Not just here, but on your blog as well. I enjoy your posts every time I read them and I welcome you to guest post for me anytime. Cheers! ”
The Dude, from The Daddy Yo Blog
“It really is amazing to see how far you… well… ALL of you have come in this contest, with your writing skills. It’s awesome to see that you have achieved the goals you set out to achieve. And even surpassed some of them. You underestimated yourself, sir!”
Heather, from My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream