Getting Freshly Pressed: Riding the Crest of the Wave

I decided to write this post as a ‘thank you’ to the editor who liked my post well enough to Freshly Press it. I am so grateful and amazed at the same time. I’ve never kidded myself that I’m the new Hemingway or the next Stevie King. I just like to write. A lot.

I love the Blogging community. Except for one ‘troll-like’ creature that followed over from Tumblr, I’ve not had many folks be mean or rude. So I feel like WordPress is full of grown up type folks who, if they not just nice, at least have manners.

So thank you Cheri Lucas for picking my little post. It’s been one helluva ride and I’ve really enjoyed it.

I am a relative newcomer to the world of WordPress. I had blogged on Blogger.com for about a year and a half without setting the world on fire. If I got 30 views a day  I got excited. I finally got a grand total of 7 followers on Blogger and I kind of felt like I was spinning my verbal wheels.

I then started a blog on Tumblr called (are you ready for this?) Random Thoughts for a Random World. Same as the title of my other blog. The only thing I didn’t like about Tumblr was the inability to see how many folks stopped by for a ‘gander.’ But I did like their choices of themes for the site.

I found WordPress quite by accident. I liked the look of it so much that I decided to start yet another blog. This time I decided to change the name of the site to say a bit more about me. I am a dedicated film nut. My whole family is. I honestly think that we’re the only people in the world who precede almost any conversation with the phrase, “Oh! Did you see…” Oh I’m sure that there might be more folks out there who are more dedicated film buffs than us, but I’ll bet that we talk about films more than just about anyone.

I noticed the Freshly Pressed section on WordPress and I was intrigued. ‘What,’ I wondered, ‘do you have to do to get Freshly Pressed?’ Luckily for me and all the other bloggers in WordPress land, there were (and still are) posts that give all kinds of great advice on how to get “FP’d” and what it would do for your blog.

I am by nature a very cynical person. I am not, though, a pessimist that would make me completely unbearable. *Don’t listen to my daughter, she’s most definitely prejudicial on the subject of my personality.* So I was not overly concerned about getting FP’d and I couldn’t really imagine it making a difference.

Wrong.

I had given up ‘hoping’ to get on the exclusive list of Freshly Pressed Bloggers whose blog posts were included on this wall. I started reading the ‘How to get your blog post on Freshly Pressed’ and tried a few of the tricks and still nothing. I couldn’t even get my comments put up. *That turned out to be a spam issue about email addresses.*

I finally wrote a pithy and (let’s face it, whiny) post about not getting FP’d. Of course Karma has a wicked sense of humour and I got my previous post FP’d. Who’d a thunk?

So I’d like to tell you, the advice is sound. Do keep doing what they recommend, even if you have to accidentally hit all the nails on the head like I did. If you haven’t read their helpful hints, check em out. So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed and What Makes a Post Freshly Press-able? The Frailest Thing are just two of the helpful posts on how to get Freshly Pressed.

In a nutshell, the rules are quite simple.

1. Have an eye catching title, also known as a hook. That has always brought up horrible visions for me, you know, hooks and eye catching.

2. Make your subject different, not different as trying to find something no one has ever written about, but writing about something, differently. See the difference?

3. Use pictures. Big ones and something appropriate for the subject. I think that personal pictures probably count more.

4. Make it personal. If you can use your voice or experience to round the post out all the better.

5. Write a pithy post about not getting your comments through the spam filter on the Posts who have been Freshly Pressed. *Just kidding, I did that and luckily the editors didn’t hold it against me.”

I think I’ve mentioned everything in a nice nutshell manner, but, really you’d be better off to check out the support posts. They do have good information and they not afraid to share it.

In the mean time, keep doing what you love doing, writing. I’ll be seeing you on the Freshly Pressed page soon. I’ll warn you, your views, hits or whatever you want to call em are going to go through the roof. Plus you’ll get loads more followers. It’s pretty exciting, and not a little daunting. So until then…

Peace out!

Michael Smith 27/08/2012

WordPress
WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

The Wonderful World of Blogging

Back in 2010 I started my first blog. I wrote a minute post and published it. I then ignored it for almost exactly one year.

I quite literally had forgotten all about it.  I had so many other things going on in my life that I didn’t have time to post to a blog.

I was a literal ‘babe in the woods’ when it came to the wonderful world of blogging.  There were loads of things I didn’t know, except that my daughter hated doing them for her university course. She much preferred the pdf format for her uni work and the blog’s for her own thoughts.

In my mind, since she directed so much vitriol towards the required blogs, I decided that they must be terrible time consuming things best left alone. That belief combined with my own personal version of the Queen’s annus horribilis meant that my blogging days were to be postponed for quite a while.

Our family had been going through some incredibly stressful days/months/years and the inevitable divorce followed. 2010 was a year of running, rushing and realization. It was also a time of starting over.

I spent so much time trying to re-establish myself that I forgot that I also needed to get back in touch with myself. I had completely lost track of who I was and what I like doing. It had gotten to the point that when I looked in the mirror to shave in the morning, I would say, “Hello stranger,” to the shell-shocked face that looked back at me.

So it took me a year to remember that I had started the damn thing. I decided that I would do a minimum of one post per day. I had wanted to be a writer before I’d ever dreamed of doing anything else. I felt that this was a good way to get back into practise.

And before you could say, “Bob’s your uncle,” I was mixing my metaphors with the best of them. I also discovered that when you added something to your blog it was called a post. I still think of them as articles, I can blame Journalism 101 back in the 70’s for that one.

It has been therapeutic, this blogging business. It has helped me get back in touch with my inner child, my raved imagination and most importantly with myself. I am still a bit rusty. Like Dorothy‘s Tin Man, I’ve needed a spot of oil now and again to get those rusty brain cells working in a smoother fashion.

It has also allowed me to ‘vent my spleen’ about things that irritate me and it helps me to take strolls down memory lane.

I’ve also learned that reading other writer’s words of wisdom, wit, opinions and thoughts has opened up a plethora of worlds, cultures and ideology that I otherwise might never have known existed.

I have also learned that if I am writing about something factual, I have to do all the required research before I post the dog-gone thing.

There is one other thing that I’ve found, an almost invaluable tool that I am convinced not everyone uses. At least not as much as I do.

Spell-check.