WordPress, which is the platform I use to modify this blog and host my site, has this thing it calls “Freshly Pressed.” In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s basically a list of highlighted posts from WordPress blogs that, when chosen, get published on the Freshly Pressed page for a day or so.
The cool thing about getting Freshly Pressed is that it can bring thousands of new readers to your site — readers who, with literally millions of blogs to peruse throughout a particularly unproductive work day, often refer to the Freshly Pressed page for the lucky picks the WordPress editors choose to highlight.
Needless to say, ever since I became aware of the phenomenon, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the day when I, too, would get Freshly Pressed and my new wealth of fame and readership would finally — finally — justify why I ever started this thing in the first place. After all, I wanted to be a writer. A surefire sign that I was on the right aspiration path would be to get pressed. That’s what happened to Catherine. And Nate. It happened to Kat twice. So it was perfectly reasonable to think it would one day happen to me as well.
So I waited.
Maybe it would be one of my food posts.
Okay, so I’m not a cook per se and definitely didn’t create the recipes, but if I don’t share the joys of an orgasm panini with the world, who will?
Maybe it would be one of my DIY home improvement posts.
Okay, so I’m not the first person to tile a backsplash, but this might very well be the only place where, among the slew of detailed, step-by-step how-to photos, you can also see photos of my husband’s butt and learn why the word “caulk” is a homophone.
If it wasn’t going to be any of those things, then it would definitely be a post about one of my trips. Who doesn’t love reading about vacations to Hawaii or 2-month trips to Costa Rica?
Apparently the WordPress editors, that’s who.
Wait — that’s not right. I’ve seen Freshly Pressed blogs on each of those topics, including one almost exactly like my (and Erin’s) post about waterfall rapelling.
So apparently they just don’t like my posts about these topics.
I honestly thought for sure one of my posts about Spain might get pressed. I mean, I realize there wasn’t much writing involved, but I still have some highlights of the trip I’d like to share now that I’m home, and I somehow just knew the editors had my blog on a “watch” list, just waiting for the right post to press and finally give me some sense of validation.
Then, today happened.
I went to the Freshly Pressed home page and saw it — a post someone wrote about their recent trip to the South of Spain.
You have GOT to be kidding me.
It made me want to chuck my computer out the window.
It made me want to punch the wall.
It made me want to cry.
It made me want to quit the blog.
I realize this is a huge show of weakness on my part. I mean, I didn’t start the blog for anyone else, so why do I suddenly care if many people read it?
Then it hit me: I care because this is what I want to do. Write.
I decided while on the trip to Spain that I would attempt to get a “real” job upon our return. Not a “career” job, but something with a steady paycheck that I could manage while still trying to do the writing thing. But still, in the back of my mind, I had this dream that some sign would intervene — one of those epiphanies you read about where some lucky person is handed a clue that tells him — beyond all reasonable doubt — that he’s doing the right thing.
The problem is, I was so intent on looking for affirmation that I failed to accept the obvious signs that maybe I’m not doing the right thing.
Or, maybe I’m concentrating my efforts on the wrong thing.
Or, maybe signs are bullshit.
I don’t know.
But I do know that persistence and grit will only get you so far. After all, continuously spinning the tires will often dig a deeper rut.
So. I’m not quitting the blog. Not even close.
But this is my renewed commitment to myself to try some new venues on the path to becoming an actual writer. You know, like maybe sending some pitches in to various publications. Freelancing for other blogs/writing projects. Starting up a rejection pile. Things people who actually make a living in the industry actually do.
I know — there’s going to be work involved.
I can’t believe it either.
Here are some more Spain pictures if you’re one of those people (like me) who actually likes looking at other peoples’ vacation pictures:
Graffiti near Becca and Brad’s apartment.
Malaga from above.
Old juxtaposed with the new.
Malaga store window.
Ferry ride with our hosts, Brad and Becca.
How Spain said goodbye through an airport window.