The Afterglow of being Freshly Pressed

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It was just over a month ago that I was Freshly Pressed for the very first (and possibly only) time — and what a roller coaster ride it has been!  I fought with myself about writing this post because I was afraid that it might give the appearance that I was trying to become Freshly Pressed again — especially since the post that made it was one concerning The Challenge of a Daily Post – and not about the usual stuff I write about — my crazy husband, children, sisters and life in general.  But then I remembered a very good piece of advice I received from the many people who took the time to read my post and make a comment — being Freshly Pressed isn’t the challenge – the real challenge is not to change your writing style and not to second-guess if the post you are writing is good enough, funny enough or touching enough for the individuals who have decided to subscribe to your blog. 

I think that the 15 minutes of fame I experienced was a wonderful experience – not necessarily because someone thought my writing was worthwhile (although I have to admit that was pretty darn cool!) – but as I look back over the past month, I think I am more in awe at the number of people who are still reading my posts and making comments on them.   There are basically two things which have really inspired me because of being Freshly Pressed –

  • People sharing their stories with me.  One of my subscribers – Julee Celeste writes wonderful comments to many of my posts and shares her own experiences with me.  Sometimes her comments are actually longer than my post!  I feel like I have a lot of new pen pals (for those of you who are of the internet age — these are people with whom we exchanged letters telling about our lives — ACTUAL letters — not e-mails, tweets or instant messages.)  I remember that at one time you could pay fifty cents to get three names to whom you could write.  I used to have one in Italy, Australia and Japan.  The only one I wrote to for many years was a young man in Australia — it was very interesting learning all about another culture through our letters.  I feel very lucky to be experiencing that same excitement by watching for the comments from people like Julee who share their lives with me.
  • People who didn’t like what I had written.  This was a very weird experience for me.  It wasn’t that they didn’t like my writing — it turns out they didn’t like what I was writing about.  It seems odd that this would be an inspiration, but I realized that I wasn’t always going to be perceived in the way I had intended with my writing.  Both pieces which drew such negative emotional reactions were humor pieces — but as with all things — there are some things which are just not funny to some people.  I realized that writing anything takes courage – the courage to tell your story and be open to criticism, ridicule and sometimes hatred.  I must have the courage to continue to write what I feel in my own way — and be prepared to defend myself if necessary. 

Things have started to calm down now — but I am amazed daily that there are people who read what I have written.  I started blogging as a personal challenge to write more — I’m an over-sharer and story-teller, so that part was easy.  I have been lucky enough to receive responses from people all over the world — which is probably the coolest part of the entire experience!  So, now I have an entirely new audience for my stories which my children, husband and other family members have grown tired of hearing over and over and over again — plus, a whole new bunch of people who can realize that our family definitely puts the ‘fun’ back in dysfunctional!

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One response »

  1. Hey, thanks for mentioning me! And my long-windedness, which I warned my writing class (a short story class of 4 weeks) about. I had the same teacher last fall and she said, “that’s just the way you express yourself”. I seem to have a lot of details to share!!

    I once had a drama teacher who said, after someone in class mentioned they wanted the character to come across a certain way and have the audience go away with a specific experience, “You can’t control how the audience reacts. All you can do is your job. How they experience it is up to them.” That was a revealing statement to me, and I think you have experienced it in the reactions to your writing. Just be true to yourself and you’ll have done your job. How others react is their business. And yes, it’s gratifying to be liked.

    Please keep writing, and please compile that book of stories about your family! I really think it would sell. Your stories are so charming and funny — I wish I had so many great, funny memories at hand!

    I have your blog listed on my blogroll, and any day I go to my blog I cruise by yours, too. It’s fun to know you’ll almost always have a new entry daily. I look forward to them.

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