Here’s what happens when you’re Freshly Pressed. You feel like the kid in 3rd grade who got the most Valentines back in the day when kids gave Valentines only to the people they liked and blew off the rest, not like now where every kid has to get the same number or it isn’t fair.
Fair wouldn’t be a concept familiar to a blogger. A carefully crafted post about a critical emotional issue will get ignored, one lonely “like” at the bottom of the page, readership in the low double digits. And while that beautiful post is rotting in the netherworld of no hits, other bloggers’ posts will pop up in the Reader and there will be fabulous photography and extraordinary prose and it will become clear that the once beautiful post, now shriveled like a piece of once fresh ginger left in the refrigerator for months, was, in fact, for shit.
So it is extraordinary when a post is plucked out of thousands or millions of posts published on WordPress and given the prominence of Freshly Pressed. In my particular case, it happened to be a post about a topic very important to me – aging – and it was heartfelt and written the way I want to write – honest, confident, and clear. It was fresh ginger.
Here’s what happened to me as a result of being Freshly Pressed:
1. So far, the piece has been read by 1,270 people. I’ve had essays published that have garnered more readers but not one that engaged more readers.
2. The post has received 296 ‘likes’ and 127 comments. It’s the latter that is the most amazing and the most fun. The comments are exceptional, people sharing their own views on aging, puzzling through the concept of acceptance versus contentment, comments from my age peers and people in their twenties, from the U.S., Ireland, and Australia.
3. As a result of Freshly Pressed, the number of Red’s Wrap followers doubled – from 189 to 401 – with a few more added every day. You folks who have blogs with 10,000 followers (well, you wouldn’t be reading me anyway), just take another sip of champagne. Me? I am delighted! More regular readers, more comments, more interaction, and, because people who would follow me must be writers with great taste, new blogs for me to follow. I don’t follow junk, you know, only good writers with something to say.
4. I felt emboldened to write about a subject that is generally regarded as a depression festival. Is it in my power to make aging interesting and hip? Probably not. But the way I see it, you all are headed to my end of the field eventually, wouldn’t you appreciate some insight on the lay of the land? I’m here to help you.
5. It made me happy. I read the email from the wonderful Freshly Pressed folks while waiting for the grim lady at the dentist to tally up my bill. I let out a whoop that made the anxious patients in the waiting room look up in fear. I walked to my car, beaming. Drove home, beaming. Texted my husband, beaming. An editor who looks at thousands of posts every day plucked mine. Beaming. If you write, you want that. Oh yes, I write for myself, because I have something to say, and because it’s fun. But let’s be frank. I need people who don’t know me but do know what’s good and what isn’t to occasionally like my stuff.
So that’s what it’s like to be Freshly Pressed. It feels great. Truly great.