When something happens that makes me pee all over myself, it’s either a highlight or an event I would like to forget forever. (Then again, maybe it’s just regular old day for a mom who’s given birth but refused to adhere to a kegel regime.)
This summer, when I found myself perusing my email on a routine trip to the bathroom, I got an email that jolted me so thoroughly that I jumped up mid-urine stream, screaming so hysterically that the members of my household wondered if I had seen a mouse.
But it was not a furry creature that occasioned my hysteria. It was an email notification that this post was being Freshly Pressed.
What’s Freshly Pressed? For the uninitiated, Word Press is the site that hosts my blog, along with approximately 450,000 others. Its editors, may, at any time, choose blog posts to appear on its “highlights” page, known as the Freshly Pressed page. (Click here to see the current crop of Freshly Pressed posts.) It’s a thrill to be chosen because it brings thousands of new readers to your blog, and it’s an affirmation from the Word Press editors that you are doing something they think is interesting.
When I got the email notification from the editor, I was told my post would run on the Freshly Pressed page in “the next few days.” It turned out I had almost 24 hours to wait. During that time I did all of the following:
- I picked a fight with Jeff who kindly offered to help me put some aesthetic touches on my blog.
- I stayed up all night wondering what would happen when my post hit the highlights page.
- I emailed other bloggers who had been Freshly Pressed and asked for tips on surviving the ride.
The post was Freshly Pressed around 10:00 p.m. on Monday night. By Tuesday, I was thoroughly enjoying the conversation that developed around the subject of the post (ditching Netflix once and for all). I couldn’t believe how many people similarly struggled with their movie subscriptions. There was a giant uptick in hits on my page, which appealed to my vanity and my desire for external validation.
For sure, getting Freshly Pressed was a highlight for me. What I enjoyed most about it is that the real life experience lived up to the hype. So few things can reach the expectations that precede them. It felt exhilarating to have my mind utterly blown by how many people stopped by to comment or to “like” the post.
I now know it’s possible for a lone blogger to have thousands of hits in one day, even though I can’t say I know how to do that without the boost of Freshly Pressed. Unexpectedly, the experience made me want to be better– as a writer and social critic and jester and buffoon– because whatever size my blog is, it’s a platform that reaches other people, so I want to use it responsibly. I think that sounds insufferably pompous, but I have already admitted I have moments of incontinence, so who cares if I am pompous?
I don’t want to be condescending to my readers, but I am going to spell out the moral for you, especially if you want to be Freshly Pressed: Either do your kegels or don’t check your email when you are going potty.