The most amazing thing happened this week. On Saturday morning, I woke up for my usual 4:00am wake-up call, looked after Baby, and then turned on my computer to check my email before going back to bed. An icon popped up, notifying me that I had 57 unread email.
“57 emails?” I said out loud. (For those non-parents out there, talking to yourself is perfectly normal. After hours each day of goo-goo and gaa-gaa, it’s nice to talk to an adult for a change.)
I opened my email browser to see what was going on, and discovered heaps of people had read my post and clicked ‘Like’. And I had 17 new comments that needed to be moderated.
“Goodness!” I said. (Having children also robs you of the ability to swear convincingly.)
And there, waiting quietly amongst the Likes and Moderation Requireds, was an email from WordPress Admin congratulating me on my post being selected to be Freshly Pressed. I read that email several times. Then I logged into my WP account, and discovered that over 1100 people had viewed my page in the last 3 hours.
At first, I was stunned. Then I felt like a Rock star. I was far too excited to go back to bed. I just sat in front of my computer screen, refreshing the stats over and over, and watching the Total Page Views jump by 20 or 30 at a time.
People clicked like. Comments appeared, waiting to be moderated. More people subscribed to my blog. I had emails from people who wanted to contact me privately about my story. And as the day passed, I felt less and less like a rock star. By mid-afternoon, I just felt humbled and awed.
I was awed by the outpouring of support, love, compassion, and joy that was poured directly from the hearts and minds of people from all around the world, into the comments on my blog. I was humbled by the willingness of so many people to share their own stories; some were similar to my own, but many were more disturbing or traumatic. And as the total page views passed 3000 for the day, I was just astonished that so many people had taken the time to read my story, and touched by the number of people who had responded.
So let me say this: Thank you. Thank you for commenting, thank you for sharing, and thank you for sticking around.
But all of that attention made it a goodness-load harder to write my 100 words on Saturday. It was ten minutes to midnight, and I was sitting in a silent house, counting individual words in the hopes that I’d managed to come up with 100. “Damn it, only 87. Umm… Oh, I know. I’ll add some adverbs on to those dialogue tags. That’s bound to help. And maybe some extra adjectives. The car could be shiny, new, blue, clean, sporty, and environmentally friendly.”
I made it with 2 minutes to spare. And I deleted at least 65 of those words the next day, I’m sure. But the point is that I made it.
This means that I’m now on Day 23 of my 100 Words for 100 Days Challenge. This week, I managed to write 2500 words, which is nothing compared to the amazing efforts of Leanne Baldwin, who seems to be able to bust out that many in a lazy afternoon, but I’m thrilled. That brings my average daily word count up to 363 (from 360 last week), so at least I’m consistent. If I keep going at that rate, I should be finished my first draft on the 9th of January.
In other news, the writing competition I was whingeing about last week still hasn’t released their short list. However, they’ve issued a formal apology for the delay and advised that the list will be released by the end of the month. So if I don’t mention anything about it next week, you’ll know it’s because I didn’t place in the top 10.
Finally, I don’t know if any of you writers ever pop over to Janet Reid’s blog, but if you don’t, you should. She occasionally runs an interesting contest where she gives 5 words, and people write a 100 word story that includes those words. I entered her most reason one, and had a great time crafting out a story in such a tight word limit. The words for this competition were: lyrical, angst, conspiracy, reluctant, and swoop. My entry was as follows:
Vlad slammed the book closed and flung it across the room in disgust “Nothing!” he said, his fangs flashing. “Not a jot of lyrical prose. Just angst, angst, angst.”
“Those so-called authors must be reluctant to show you in your true glory, my Lord, for fear of inciting a panic,” Igor said as he arranged the evening meal on a velvet couch.
“Nonsense! It’s a conspiracy designed to make me look weak and ineffective,” Vlad said, stalking across to his prey. “Now hand me that rabbit. I’m hardly going to swoop down and get it myself, am I?”
Do you enjoy this kind of 100 word challenge as much as I do?