What It’s Like to Be Freshly Pressed

Here’s what happens when you’re Freshly Pressed. You feel like the kid in 3rd grade who got the most Valentines back in the day when kids gave Valentines only to the people they liked and blew off the rest, not like now where every kid has to get the same number or it isn’t fair.

Fair wouldn’t be a concept familiar to a blogger. A carefully crafted post about a critical emotional issue will get ignored, one lonely “like” at the bottom of the page, readership in the low double digits. And while that beautiful post is rotting in the netherworld of no hits, other bloggers’ posts will pop up in the Reader and there will be fabulous photography and extraordinary prose and it will become clear that the once beautiful post, now shriveled like a piece of once fresh ginger left in the refrigerator for months, was, in fact, for shit.

So it is extraordinary when a post is plucked out of thousands or millions of posts published on WordPress and given the prominence of Freshly Pressed. In my particular case, it happened to be a post about a topic very important to me – aging – and it was heartfelt and written the way I want to write – honest, confident, and clear. It was fresh ginger.

Here’s what happened to me as a result of being Freshly Pressed:

1.   So far, the piece has been read by 1,270 people. I’ve had essays published that have garnered more readers but not one that engaged more readers.

2. The post has received 296 ‘likes’ and 127 comments. It’s the latter that is the most amazing and the most fun. The comments are exceptional, people sharing their own views on aging, puzzling through the concept of acceptance versus contentment, comments from my age peers and people in their twenties, from the U.S., Ireland, and Australia.

3. As a result of Freshly Pressed, the number of Red’s Wrap followers doubled – from 189 to 401 – with a few more added every day. You folks who have blogs with 10,000 followers (well, you wouldn’t be reading me anyway), just take another sip of champagne. Me? I am delighted! More regular readers, more comments, more interaction, and, because people who would follow me must be writers with great taste, new blogs for me to follow. I don’t follow junk, you know, only good writers with something to say.

4. I felt emboldened to write about a subject that is generally regarded as a depression festival. Is it in my power to make aging interesting and hip? Probably not. But the way I see it, you all are headed to my end of the field eventually, wouldn’t you appreciate some insight on the lay of the land? I’m here to help you.

5. It made me happy. I read the email from the wonderful Freshly Pressed folks while waiting for the grim lady at the dentist to tally up my bill. I let out a whoop that made the anxious patients in the waiting room look up in fear. I walked to my car, beaming. Drove home, beaming. Texted my husband, beaming. An editor who looks at thousands of posts every day plucked mine. Beaming. If you write, you want that. Oh yes, I write for myself, because I have something to say, and because it’s fun. But let’s be frank. I need people who don’t know me but do know what’s good and what isn’t to occasionally like my stuff.

So that’s what it’s like to be Freshly Pressed. It feels great. Truly great.


16 Comments on “What It’s Like to Be Freshly Pressed

  1. Before I head on over to check out your post on aging, I wanted to thank you for this post. I was recently “Freshly Pressed,” and I have been dancing for joy while having anxious heart palpitations! Reading your words calmed me down and made me feel quite sisterly. Thank you for tackling the topic!

    Lori D.

    • I think being Freshly Pressed is an unusually nice thing even if a person has been published in other places. Freshly Pressed pieces are almost always so exceptional. I think that’s why we dance for joy. 🙂 Congratulations to you on your fine work!

  2. Keep on keepin’ on! I’m one of your new readers in my 20’s, and even now I get kind of sad about aging. 25 (the age I am now) seems to be the cut off in lot of ways for being ‘young.’ Sometimes with all the stuff put in our face about how important youth is and how that’s the time when you’re most wanted and valuable, and then comparing that to how little valuable or wanted I feel…it helps to know there’s a happier side of aging.

    I look forward to reading more from you. 🙂

  3. I’m so happy you got such a great response! Did you get my email letting you know I recommended you as one to watch when I was Freshly Pressed? 🙂 I guess they’re now watching:)

  4. I AM a writer with great taste, and I am so pleased to have found you! This post just proves that I made the right choice in following your blog, ha. I enjoy your writing style immensely. Also, love the term “depression festival” and might even consider going to one, as long as it focused on, you know, the cool parts of depression rather than the downer parts.

  5. Thank you for sharing this feeling. Your post about aging is really deserving of all acknowledgements its getting!

  6. Yes! I wasn’t Freshly Pressed – but had a similar experience and response this week. I feel in synch here with you! Bravo.

  7. Congratulations! I remember reading and hitting the “like” button on the article you wrote. But personally, I have a troubled relationship with Freshly Pressed. My blog focuses on music, and I am always trying to write articles that match the quality of the Freshly Pressed picks, because of course I want to be chosen. But I am afraid I never will be because I would need to write an article about the music that I personally enjoy and somehow give it universal appeal as well. That seems like a very tricky thing to do, and even if I pull it off, there is no guarantee that the WordPress staff will pick or even read that article. I’m not even sure if my posts fit the mold for Freshly Pressed posts, which are mostly about social issues. However, your article was a breath of fresh air, because I was getting a little tired of reading about feminism, racism, and LGBT issues. Not that those aren’t important topics, but it was nice to find something else among the Freshly Pressed articles!

    • It is frustrating to try to get a piece noticed and can be really disheartening. There are just so many blogs and posts everyday that it’s really hard to stand out. I wouldn’t take not getting Freshly Pressed (yet) as a reaction to your work. The aging post was written in response to a Daily Post prompt, not intentionally to get it FP’d but just for the exercise. However, I think having it on that shorter list of responses to a Daily Post prompt probably helped get it seen.

  8. Congratulations. I am pleased that I was comment # 5 to that post and a faithful follower from prior to your fame 🙂

  9. I can so relate. I was Freshly Pressed for the first time last month, and it is a very cool feeling. Yes, you gave us Fresh Ginger with your piece on aging. Thank you for the perspective because around the time I read your piece I was feeling done and over at the age of 41. So, yes, thank you for jolting me out of my “I’m getting old” funk.

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