Some days I sit down to write my daily blog post and I think about all the people around the world who are going to read it. I think about them laughing (preferably at the bits that are supposed to be funny) or nodding their head in agreement. I think about the people who will read the post and disagree with me — possibly vehemently — and I wonder whether they will leave an angry comment or simply click away from my blog and never return. I think about people being so moved by my words that they share my post and encourage their friends to read it via Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or good old fashioned email. And then I wonder if this time, today, will be the day when I’m Freshly Pressed.
And on those days, I stare at the computer screen for minutes that seem like hours, and nothing happens. Well, that’s not true. Nothing happens on the screen, but plenty happens behind the scenes. My heart pounds, my stomach swirls, a sense of anxiety wars with a feeling of excitement. My fingers tingle. My legs get heavy. And my brain completely fails to deliver any words at all, wise or otherwise.
That doesn’t happen most days.
Most days, I know exactly what I’m going to write about because I’ve been pondering the topic for hours or days or even weeks. I’ve planned the post in my head so many times, writing it feels almost like an anticlimax. I’m not writing for the millions of people in the world, I’m writing for me and the few people I expect will read it.
When I hit that Publish button, I can confidently state that my husband will read my post. I’m reasonably sure that at least one of my parents will do likewise, and my sister probably will as well. Other than that, perhaps some of my friends on Facebook or the people I’ve connected with online will drop on by and have a read. If I’m lucky, some of them will click the ‘Like’ button. If I’m even luckier, I’ll get a comment or two.
And, you know what? Even one comment on a post makes me feel like a success.
So imagine how I felt when I suddenly had 50 of them.
Last week, my post Authors Behaving Badly: The Seedy Underbelly of Reviewing was Freshly Pressed by WordPress. The nice, smooth waters of The Happy Logophile were churned up into a maelstrom of page views and comments and brand new visitors, most of whom seemed to actually like what I had to say.
I felt honoured and excited and overwhelmed and terrified and exuberant and anxious and about a million other emotions that don’t even have names in the english language. At first, I sat at my computer watching the pretty little traffic counter graph move higher and higher. Then I started reading the comments people were leaving. And they were really, truly amazing. I had all manner of people reading and sharing their thoughts: readers, writers, unpublished authors, indie authors, traditionally published authors, and my Dad.
More than anything, I wanted to reply to each and every one of them. But… how?
Well, I did it. (Although you may have noticed that I skipped writing a post last Thursday.) I wrapped myself in happy feelings as I read comments and engaged readers in conversations and posed questions and shared my thoughts. And every time that little orange speech bubble lit up to tell me there was a new comment… I had a quiet like anxiety attack. But in a good way. Honest.
By this week, things had calmed down again. Everything was smooth sailing.
And then last night, just as I was about to go to bed, I noticed a comment on my blog. I clicked on the happy little icon to read it. It was a pingback. From something calling itself ‘Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for August 2012‘.
Huh. What’s that? I thought. I clicked on the link. And then my good friend Stephanie tweeted me to congratulate me on being one of the Editors’ Picks and the madness began all over again.
I’m not going to lie. It’s been a thrill. An amazing ride. And, judging by the 12 new notifications that have come through while I’ve been writing this post, it’s not over yet. But I don’t want to wait any longer. I want to pause, take a deep breath, and say thank you.
Thank you to the WordPress.com Freshly Pressed Editors for choosing to honour me and my post not just once, but twice.
Thank you to every person who clicked through and read what I had to say.
Thank you to the 160+ people who hit the Like button.
Thank you to the 120+ people who took the time and effort to share their thoughts, opinions, andstories. (If I haven’t replied to your comment yet, please be assured that I will! Apparently children don’t care if you’ve been Freshly Pressed, they still want to eat.)
Thank you to the 100+ people who read my post, poked around a bit, and decided to subscribe to my blog. I hope you like it here.
And a very special thank you to all those people who have read, commented, liked, subscribed, and generally supported me on my blogging journey for all or some of the last 16 months. You guys are the best.
Have you ever been Freshly Pressed? Would you like to be? What’s the most awesomely overwhelming experience you’ve ever had?