Halp! I’ve been Freshly Pressed!

English: Vintage clock radio

English: Vintage clock radio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)           Man, I wish I had a clock radio like this one.  I should log on to ebay and get one, right now.  I also need a new slipcover for the sofa, which reminds me that I really want to hear that Bruce Springsteen song that Louis CK is talking about in that video that everyone is posting on Facebook.  Too much to do, no time for writing, now!

I have been up for hours, and I am facing the biggest challenge in my writing life:  a ridiculous amount of positive attention.

Two days ago, one of my blog posts was featured on Freshly Pressed.  I have been squeeing with delight ever since, living in a cocoon of good feelings–high stats, a proud husband, email after email from tons of comments, and FOLLOWERS!  I have followers now?  I’ve always wanted those!

So, I got up when the kitchen clock radio turned on the NPR (it does that every morning at 8:00 a.m., but I especially like it on Saturdays, because it does it to Weekend Edition, which is like interviews with artists, with the occasional foreign policy discussion thrown in).   I will do the dishes while the water for the french press  boils.  I will listen to Morning Edition, and then I will sit down with my coffee and my dog and we will write a blog post the three of us.

But, this is different now.  My little experiment in the vacuum has gone terribly awry.  I am no longer alone.  My intention of writing a funny blog post and getting attention worked.  Now there are people reading.  What if I disappoint them?

Nevermind all that, I tell myself.  Just sit.  Just write.

So, I sit.

And then I call my sister.

And I sit.

And then I call my mother.

And I sit.

And I think maybe the modern sage Louis CK might have something to say on the topic of fear of success.

5 YouTube videos later, and I still got nothing.

I should probably check Facebook before I write.

And my WordPress Stats.

Finally, I get to writing. . .

. . . I start with an email to my grad school bestie:

“3000 people have looked at my blog. 273 people liked it.   I have 100 followers. What do these strangers want from me??? How will I ever post again now that people are paying attention? Do I have to write about babies forever now? Halp! Grad school didn’t prepare me for this.”

Thankfully, gradschool bestie is online and she writes back right away:

“oh my god! yay! be you. you got this!”

Pope-Francis-Audience-with-the-media-1I send her a link to something I heard on Morning Edition, tell her that I will be inspired by Pope Francis–who gives no hoots what anyone thinks of him and if I asked him, he would say “just do you, girl.”

In all seriousness, though, I am so grateful for all the positive attention you all have thrown my way.  And though I may need a few days to catch my breath and read all the comments carefully, and respond and follow, and engage, I can’t tell you what a joy this response has been.

And it has made me realize a thing or two about myself as a writer.  I love writing for its own sake.  I’ve been doing it in a vacuum for over 20 years.  Well, that’s not entirely true.   My mom has read most of my stuff — from the haunted house story I wrote when I was twelve to this blog post.

But I told myself a couple of weeks ago, that I was ready for a change.  That I didn’t want to write in a vacuum anymore.

When wishes come true, they bring challenges with them.  But how will we grow without challenges?

The upshot is that I’m grateful to be here, in a community of writers who read each other, support each other, challenge each other, and–most importantly–write.

I hope you will forgive me my anxiety as I get back to the thing I came here to do–that is, write.

First, though, I think I need to take the dog out.

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7 responses to “Halp! I’ve been Freshly Pressed!

  1. I haven’t been Freshly Pressed (go you!) but Iknow this feeling well. I’ve been writing since I was itty bitty and two years ago I actually got a job where someone pays me to do it. Yay! Then…oh crap, what now?! I got through it enough to be able to write professionally there and personally here again, and having an audience is great 🙂 I’mlooking forward to seeing what’s next from you!

    • Thanks Shanna. Yeah things are always easier in our imagination aren’t they? Congrats to you on the family and the work and all of it. Look forward to hearing from you as well. x

  2. Well at least you’re not hearing the crickets anymore! 🙂 Anyway, I’m glad you got pressed – I wouldn’t have found your blog otherwise and I really like it. Best of luck!

  3. Honestly, I think that writers are a tortured species; this is also a struggle I face every day (minus the freshly pressed part…congrats btw!). I try to remember that I am my own biggest critic and to remain true to myself…while in the meantime I find every excuse to put off writing another post! Love your blog…don’t worry, I’m following, but not judging you! 🙂

    • emptyspoonful! Boy am I in luck, because now I have found your blog and I am a GF girl! Your recipes look fantastic. Can’t wait to try some. If I can just get up off the couch! 🙂 Thanks for the support. We are indeed, a tortured bunch. I once asked my (very successful) writing teacher when the doubt subsided. She said “Oh, that never goes away, you just get better at ignoring it.” ❤

  4. I love that quote! Thank you for sharing; I will definitely keep it in mind. Hooray for the GF girls! Don’t get up; you’re pregnant, make your husband cook for you (Yikes, is that offensive? I better bookmark that post… 🙂 )! Thanks for following my blog!

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