A Tiny Taste of Fame (Just small enough to choke on)

“So this area is called the ‘Dashboard’ and this is where you pull all of the strings to create the pages that people see.” I explained to my mother who knew very little about blogging and cared even less. Then I showed her around my blog and eventually over to the WordPress homepage and the Freshly Pressed section.

Pausing ever-so-reverently on the Freshly Pressed area. My eyes glazed over like Homer Simpson’s when he sees a beer or a donut and I dramatically drew a circle in the air around The Page with my index finger and with an equal amount of drama said to her: “Mother, THIS is where I can only hope to end up some day. THIS is the goal. THIS would be THE place to be.”

A day or two later, I did the same thing to my boyfriend.

I can be a bit of a drama queen.

My fledgling web log was just 10 days old. I had 13 subscribers and anywhere from 40 to 80 hits a day. And then last Friday something amazing happened. Going to my blog to check the stats (as I had begun doing religiously) hoping each day that the numbers would climb, I told myself not to expect much. I literally SAID to myself: “Don’t be disappointed if the numbers are low. You are NEW at this and it will take time for people to discover it.”

But the numbers weren’t low. They were skyrocketing! And I immediately thought there must be something wrong with WordPress and that this had to be a mistake of some kind. I knew enough to be able to check where the majority of hits were coming from and I saw that it was the WordPress homepage. So naturally I went there. And that’s when I saw it. My baby. My blog… right there in the middle of the page. The picture, the name…  I rubbed my eyes to make sure I was actually seeing what I thought I was seeing.

It was for real.

I called my boyfriend. I called my parents. I emailed my friends. I wanted to run yelling through the streets: I’ve been Freshly Pressed!! I’ve been Freshly Pressed!! I did refrain, however, for fear of looking like a lunatic since I’m pretty sure that a large slice of society probably would assume that “Freshly Pressed” is something akin to water-boarding. But on the inside I WAS running and yelling.

Since it was a Friday, I was fortunate that my blog stayed on FP for 3 whole days (plus one more if you count the day that it slides back to the “earlier” site). Four whole days of extra exposure to the world and readers and hits and comments and spiking stat charts and emails and “likes” and subscribers! I had never experienced anything remotely like the rush I got from it. By the end of the 4th day, I was exhausted. I looked like a junkie in desperate need of a fix. My eyes were red, I was cranky from very little sleep and I just generally looked like shit. It was then that I realized how HARD it is to stand under the white-hot light of overnight celebrity. No wonder so many people crack under the pressure.

It was going to be short-lived and I was aware of it every second of every day. And it was wearing me out. Staying up late to watch the numbers, answer comments and emails, read other people’s blogs and nurture new virtual friendships. I kept thinking: I’ve got to stay after this or it will all slip away! Soon the clock will strike midnight and my carriage will turn back into a pumpkin, my gown to rags and my fine white horses to rats… I will be the little-ol’-graphic-designer-from-Ohio-who-writes-for-a-hobby once again. I will be just another regular gal doing the 8 to 5, eating frozen Lean Cuisines and watching Hoarders with my cat.

What can I say? I did the best I could for 4 days. My family and boyfriend—God love ‘em—did their best too. My boyfriend asked me daily what my numbers were and whether or not I was getting enough sleep. He and my parents reiterated how proud they were of me. They graciously listened as I told them about some of my new online connections. My parents showed their friends my blog while at a dinner party instead of passing around pictures of grandkids.

On Tuesday morning I logged on to my computer and  much to my chagrin, the numbers were abysmal compared to the day before. Back to normal I guess. My moment in the spotlight had expired. Like the rollercoaster that is 60 seconds of sheer unpredictable terror and thrill and then comes screeching to a halt… The ride was over. I then glanced at the clock: 15 ‘til 8… I grabbed my purse, my keys, my coffee … and headed to the office.

As I pulled out of my driveway I heard the faintest voice as though over a muffled loudspeaker say: Please exit quickly to your left in order to make room for the next passenger.


19 thoughts on “A Tiny Taste of Fame (Just small enough to choke on)

  1. Tara Canestraro says:

    I love this. When I read your “stories” I feel like I am experiencing this with you! Keep em coming – don’t look at the numbers and keep in mind you have a big fan right here!

    • Thank you Tara! I know I can always “count” on you 🙂 Sorry for the bad pun… I couldn’t help it. You have been such an encouragement to me. I’m glad you enjoyed this and thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. Yes, readers, that is exactly as it was, hysteria at its best. My daughter keeps life interesting. (and I wouldn’t have it any other way… well, maybe a little less drama when I am dealing with my own crisis.

  3. Deletrius says:

    That’s exactly what happened to me for the past two days. I woke up and checked my stats and couldn’t believe my eyes! I was lucky they left my post up for two days even though it was during the week, but it was so stressful and addicting! Today is the first normal day again, but it was definitely a crazy roller coaster! Your post definitely described the adrenaline rush 🙂

    • Yes, I saw you were FP’ed and I think I commented, but in case you were too overwhelmed to read everything… I’ll say it again… CONGRATS!! Here’s hoping it can happen again, right?

  4. JT says:

    Hey There,
    Just wanted to say it doesn’t all go away, a few people( such as myself) stay and grow with you. I haven’t been freshly pressed and given the sheer numbers, would be surprised if I was… but I don’t mind. A few who share your love of this medium can be enough and over time and with due diligence the numbers will grow….I think….if, I guess we keep it real, fresh and interesting! I will keep on and encourage you to as well. Your new fan, JT

    • Hi JT, Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Getting FP’ed was so exciting and definitely unexpected to say the least. And even though I will hope to get there again one day, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. I really appreciate you stopping by and reading and reminding me why we all do this in the first place.

  5. It’s like you are a friend next door. As if our kitchen windows are an arms length apart and we can trade funny stories. Opps wait I have no funny stories. Oh well I will get them all from you!

    • Oh I love that idea Linda 🙂 I’m sure you’ve got some funny stories of your own! I love this technology b/c you can literally swap stories with people all over the world and your “neighbor” can be someone from as far as the opposite side of globe.

  6. kalisisrising says:

    Well, the good thing about Freshly Pressed is that you get new, long term subscribers and IME, those often turn into real, lasting friendships. I’ve never been FP (I keep my blog off the search engines for privacy reasons), but the people I subscribe to have turned into friends on many levels. We follow each other, check in when we don’t see posts for awhile and it’s a great kind of support.

    • Thank you for that perspective. I have been thinking about that and about all of the new friendships that can be formed from anyone, anywhere. Thanks for reading and for commenting too 🙂

  7. Nadine says:

    I just wanted to say I discovered your page because of FP and I have come back several times since then because I really like your posts and how you write. I am also impressed by how often you write. I myself keep a private blog on WordPress and I feel lucky if I manage to publish one post per week. I’ll definitely keep checking in. Anyway, there are several pages that I discovered through FP and have been visiting ever since. Maybe the effect will turn out to last longer than you think. 🙂 Keep the posts coming!

    • Thank you Nadine! Thank you for coming back and for saying hi. The whole FP-ed thing was awesome except that I couldn’t keep up with all of the people who stopped and made such nice comments. I’m glad you came back and that you said so! You said your blog is private? I’d love to check it out if you ever felt like sharing. My email address is on here if you want to send it!

      • Nadine says:

        Thank you! My private blog is in German (I’m from Germany), so I’m not sure if you’d get much out of it. 🙂 The only blog I keep in English is my photo blog. I don’t do much to it, I only add pictures occasionally. That blog is actually public: http://hinblick.wordpress.com. Take care and good luck keeping in touch with all your new readers!

  8. I found your blog the other day through FP, and lo and behold…today *I’m* on FP for the first time. So I came back to your blog just to find this post: I knew you’d have a recap on your experience! For me it was (and still is) a little shocking…so many views and comments, grateful for my small little voice to be heard and shared with the world. I’m up way too late watching it happen. 😉 Just as you did, I’ll see what tomorrow brings.


    p.s. I may also be in thrisis. 😉

    • Congratulations!! It is an amazing feeling! Enjoy the ride. Thank you for coming back and I’m glad the post was here for you to read and that you enjoyed it. You can relate now for sure! Enjoy your adventure and keep it up!

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