Not to toot my own horn or anything (Beeeeep, beepbeepbeepbeepbeep, BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!), but I recently found out I won an award for my writing, much to my surprise. You are currently looking at (reading at?) the 2011 Texas Associated Press Managing Editors first place winner for Comment and Criticism in the 3A division (I’m also apparently in the running for winning recipient of the longest award title ever).
Now I say much to my surprise because I’ve never really considered myself as the kind of writer that won awards (re: a “good” writer). And so, in lieu of real talent, I became a rebel. I write outside the system, man. I don’t care about no awards. Hell, I poke fun at the institutions and the elitists that actually “care” about winning awards. Pffft. Some nameless, faceless panel of judges assigning worth to my words? Who needs it? Just like any great yet underappreciated artist, I’m not celebrated in my own time. But under-achieving kids in 2074 will freaking worship me!
But now…well, now those jerks have gone and legitimized me and my career.
Journalism awards are like heroin. One time is all it takes and then you’re hooked for life. Now I actually have to care and actually have to make an effort not to write pure crap. Dare I say, apply myself? I mean, you can’t really say “I’m an award-winning writer” in one breath and “I just wrote an entire blog about dog farts vs. husband farts” in the next (which is a shame because I had comparison charts and everything for the latter).
But perhaps the worst part is that I’m extremely flattered I won (although really, it’s an honor just to be nominated…See! See, what they’ve done to me?). And now one of two things will happen:
1. I’ll get a big head and start throwing tantrums where I hurl my venti low-fat chai tea latte at the Starbucks’ barista’s head because it’s too foamy and how dare they mess up my order considering I’m an award-winning writer, thank you very much, and I have a mind to take my laptop, which contains what is sure to be my critically-acclaimed debut novel, elsewhere if the appalling service doesn’t improve immediately.
2. I’ll constantly be worried about winning another award, which will cripple me and the pressure to top my past performance will become so crushing that I curl up into the fetal position and suck my thumb every time I see a blinking cursor.
So thanks a lot, TAPME. You’ve forced me to raise the bar. I can no longer be the schlub half-assing it.
I hope you’re happy.
(No seriously, I hope you’re happy and find the light-hearted manner in which I wrote this extremely charming. Cause I want more awards. I need more awards! I have to have them! I’ve already erected the shelf for all of them!).
(Shameless link to the award-winning article can be found here by the way).