Well, I’m not going to Disney World, I know that much.
If you thought I’d follow up with an intellectual essay or reflective poem you’ve got to be kidding. Last Friday was one of the best days of my life and yes I’m writing about it.
I had written about cubicle life and oh! the irony. There I sat in my dark cubicle last Friday morning, toiling away, when I stopped to check my iPhone for blog stats, wondering if anyone at all had checked out my latest creation. I was shocked when I saw I had a full email inbox and hundreds of hits on WP. My heart quickened and with bated breath, I checked WordPress to see if indeed the literary Gods had smiled upon me. Sure enough, I’d been Freshly Pressed! To say I was stunned would be an understatement. I couldn’t jump up and down or yell it from the rooftops as I really wanted to. No, I sat stifled as the number of hits increased exponentially and my ability to concentrate and breathe decreased considerably! I had to take an early lunch to take it all in and call family and friends with the great news. The funny thing was I told them that I had 256 views, then 500 views, not realizing that number would grow to almost 5,000 each day! Thank you WordPress for doing it on a Friday. I don’t think I could have functioned if this occurred in the middle of the week, I would have had to take vacation days to recuperate.
I went to a restaurant, where I could focus and read one fantastic comment after the next. I know I had a permanent smile on my face and can only imagine what other patrons were thinking. I loved reading about other people who commiserated about being stuck in a cubicles themselves, shared the ridiculousness they’d experienced and were generous enough to praise my work. Woo hoo, this is fantastic, I thought. I felt as if I’d hit the lottery and I think I now have a vague idea of what winning the lottery is like as I walked around hardly able to breathe, unbelieving that this wonderful thing was happening to me. I managed to limp through the rest of the afternoon while more comments, likes and followers flowed into my reality. Answer the phone? Send a fax? Are you kidding? I have followers. There are people out there who appreciate my writing and WordPress, in their infinite wisdom, actually read my post and felt it worthy enough to highlight it on Freshly Pressed as a sample of good work! An achievement I thought was years down the road. I still smile when I think of that.
I longed to be home with laptop in hand to savor it fully. Of course, someone up there has a sense of humor and strategically placed a student driver in my path for most of the ride home. Friends, I’m not proud of this but I must come clean. I hit the gas and passed the child driver on the left and on a two lane road, embellished with double yellow lines. As I said, I’m not proud of it. I reasoned that I was a good example of what not to do and hoped the driving instructor had pointed this out.
Once home I settled in for the evening to read the comments I received. They were funny, enlightening, witty, generous, creative and cheeky (you know who you are). Spending an evening with writers from all over the world was amazing. I had the Diana Ross song “Sweetest Hangover” in my head and do feel drunk from the experience. I was so awash in attention that it was dizzying, a cascade of interest and praise as well as sharing of experience and connecting with other writers which has been overwhelming in the very best sense.
There were times during these glorious past 3 days that there were 50-100 people viewing my post at time. It was unreal and a ride of a lifetime.
What is the etiquette when one is Freshly Pressed? I had to Google to get up to speed. Common sense told me that I should respond to any comment or congratulations that I got which proved challenging with so many coming in at once. I felt that it was most important to respond to anyone who took time out of their own lives to comment on mine and to say that I appreciate that is such an understatement. Knowing full well that this may never happen again, I really want everyone to know what their acknowledgement and validation has meant. I’ve been humbled by the outpouring, encouragement and enthusiasm you have shown me. This experience has opened my eyes to many interesting people and blogs out there and I was planning to check those blogs out out as soon as possible, which….I now find will be sooner than I thought was possible! Views had been coming in at record speed and I actually thought I’d have even more today than yesterday which was unbelievable in and of itself. However, I have since been moved to the Freshly Pressed second page which I think should be called Day Old Press or Yesterday’s News because hits dropped dramatically, from dozens every few minutes to a few every half hour and the writing, I can see, is on the wall. Currently I’m limping along and I expect that very soon I will relegated and return from whence I came. Oh, if you could see the stats, it’s so sad.
The strangest thing in the world has been how this has messed with my thoughts. At first I was elated, as I said. Then, like a junkie, I got used to the high of it all and in 3 short days, it started to feel “normal” to have thousands of people viewing my work. And now, like any drug addict would attest, my binge is headed for the inevitable crash. I can see Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief before me and it’s started already. I see my numbers slipping and part of me is saying noooooo, not yet, just one more day. Please! One more day, I’ll do anything (Bargaining). Then, no this can’t be happening. It’s only been 3 days, no this can’t be right. Don’t they keep posts up for a week? (Denial) I don’t think it was enought time for Anger or Depression. I can’t imagine what it must be like for rock stars and stage actors who are put out to pasture after decades of getting attention. I can see that 3 days of intense focus was enough of a treat without having any of the “I’m ready for my close-up Mr DeMille” psychological side effects that accompany it. Decadent and fleeting though it was, I will cherish this experience and always be grateful to WordPress and everyone who clicked ‘like’, made a comment or decided to follow me (Acceptance!). I raise my glass to you with a big thank you and the wish that I’ll see all of you on Freshly Pressed very soon.