Much more than I imagined!

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Power of Words by Antonio Litterio

Dear Mr Charisma,

On Monday whilst perusing my reader I came across your prompt for that day. It was entitled ‘Imagine‘. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a prompt that inspired me, but strangely yours did. For the first time in a long time I didn’t worry or plan what I was going to write, I just sat down and wrote. It was a short little piece that came straight from the heart and said everything that I needed it to say. I posted it, pinged back to your site, went to bed and thought no more of it for a day or so.

On Thursday morning when I awoke and checked my phone, it said I had 50 e-mails. I wasn’t that concerned as my mobile likes to play tricks on me sometimes, pretending I am more popular than I actually am by doubling and sometimes tripling up on e-mails as they come in.

I’m still at that stage in blogging where I like to see if anyone has liked what I have written, I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t care, but I’m easily pleased, I am as happy with one as I am ten. I think to date my record for likes on a single post was around 20 ish for something I have written, so I thought with the doubled up e-mails I perhaps had 25 and I was more than happy with that.

I had to go to work so I didn’t pay too much attention. I’m not much of a morning person, I need to get up and get out as quickly as possibly, because usually everything is left till the last minute.

I remember the time almost exactly, it was 8.20 am on the morning of the 17th April, whilst sitting on a train bound for Belfast that I discovered that each of the 50 e-mails I had received were genuine. I can only describe the look on my face as that of a fish as I looked around for the hidden cameras with my mouth opening and closing pretty much like…well..a fish!

I smiled and then I smiled some more. 50 people liked a post I had written. That’s pretty huge in my little word.

Throughout the day I got more e-mails, notifying me of more likes and new followers. In the middle was one saying that you, Don Charisma had reblogged my post and everything fell into place.

I guess you are wondering why I am writing this post, well you see it still has to do with the theme of your prompt.

When I first started blogging just over a year ago now and before I had met some of the awesome people that I have, I used to imagine what it would be like to be ‘Freshly Pressed’. I used to look at blogs that had over 300 followers and be in complete awe.

As time wore one I realised that none of that was important to me, I was perfectly happy to be just me, I considered myself extremely lucky to have met the people I did, and after seeing some of the other blogs out there I realised I was never going to win any awards for my writing, and I was ok with that too.

I smiled all day on April the 17th 2014, because of you. You took the time to reblog my little post, sharing it with your extended family, who then took the time to stop by and tell me they liked it. Some of them have even decided to hang around and they are more than welcome.

I received 117 likes on a simple little post. To some, who perhaps get this number day and daily that would seem normal, to me, well I still can’t quite believe it and I am truly humbled.

I don’t need to imagine anymore, because you Mr Charisma, have made me feel like I have been freshly pressed and to you and your followers, I am very grateful.

 

The Indecisive Eejit :)

NB – I had to do a little edit because I got my dates mixed up! Yes I am an eejit :)

 

 

Don’t be afraid of the dark!

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Image by Jim Pennucci

Imagine WordPress is a lake, where the waters are calm and still. This morning when I opened the reader, something felt different, almost like a storm was brewing. There were ripples on the normally smooth surface of the water. Sadness, people leaving, people hurting, it kind of knocked me for six a little.

When I started blogging I have to admit I was a little scared. Sure I had experience of WordPress before, but that was on a self hosted blog that no one ever read. The first couple of months contained many days of me stumbling around in the dark trying to find my way, experimenting and generally teaching myself how to publish a post.

For the first while you hang around unseen, watching and hoping one day you are brave enough to comment on that post that you really liked. You quickly find all the ‘cool’ blogs, because those are the ones everyone gravitates to. You don’t feel worthy to be seen, so you observe from a distance, thinking, ‘when I grow up, I want to be a blog just like that one.’

You feel that every post you write deserves to be Freshly Pressed and obsessively check your e-mails in case you delete that precious message by mistake. Then when you have the time you actually check out some of the posts that have been given the award and reality slaps your resoundly about the face when you realise that if that’s the standard that is required then it’s never coming your way. As time goes on you realise it doesn’t matter anyway, there are much more worthwhile reasons to blog.

Still you hanker after the cool blogs, liking and commenting in the hopes of being noticed, because after all that’s what you are advised to do, get yourself out there and make new friends. Your pride is a little dented when after a month you have still gone unnoticed,  but a few strangers stop by to say hello.

The strangers become friends, and bring some of their own along. The craic is good and before you know it you are visiting the cool blogs less and less. You have the approval of the people that matter to you, and that’s more than enough.

One day you realise that all blogs are the same, because they are being run by humans and humans make mistakes. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than worthy, appreciate those who already think you are good enough.

Don’t be afraid of the dark, and don’t be dazzled by bright lights, it’s all the little ones that come when you least expect it that light your way! Don’t give up, they will find you.

Daily Prompt: Secret of Success

Daily Prompt: Secret of Success 

What would it take for you to consider yourself a “successful blogger”? Is that something you strive for?

When I first started out, I used to think that in order to be a successful blogger I had to become Freshly Pressed. That line of thought caused me anxiety, because I knew I didn’t have the skills and the more I fretted about it, the less I wanted to write. After my first few posts I adopted a rather stupid ‘What’s the point’ kind of attitude.

When you’re new, it’s hard having no followers and no likes, in fact no one reading. Yes we all blog for many different reasons with varied end goals, but there are few who could truthfully say that they do not get a buzz when they attain new followers or post likes! So, whilst we all write for ourselves, there is always that little bit of us that craves the attention of others. We have a desire to entertain, amuse, educate and inform, it’s inbuilt.

As time wore on and I got a little better acquainted with the WordPress scene, I started to follow, read and interact with other blogs. I stopped writing for the sake of it, instead choosing to wait until I had something to say. I started to write for myself.

I can’t express how much I enjoyed the ‘Reader’ and I even started to look on Freshly Pressed in a new light, it was no longer something to be feared, in fact in one post I offered praise, as through it, I was introduced to amazing new posts and some equally amazing blogs.

Five months on I now have followers who comment and converse with me on a daily basis. They tell me whats good and what’s bad and their opinions matter more than anyone else’s, more than being Freshly Pressed.

Through the last 100 posts and my circle of friends here, I realised I didn’t have to be a successful blogger or spend time worrying about my lack of skills, I just had to be myself.

 

 

Freshly Pressed, Freshly Stressed but I am Impressed!

I am in awe, total awe, of a lot of the posts I read on Freshly Pressed, so despite how it might first appear when you read the post title I am indeed glad it exists.

By far the best post I have read so far was Nickle Lauritzen and the Afterlife on One Boy’s Way of Knowing, it actually brought tears to my eyes. I made Paul read it too and all he could say was “Wow”. Other people will be able to tell you in big fancy words how fantastic it was, I wish I could, but that is just not me. I can simply tell you from the heart it was wonderful and urge you to read it. I am certainly grateful to Freshly Pressed because it allowed me to find and read it.

So I’m in awe! Everyday I read things that make me laugh, make me sad, make me think, make me confused, make me ask questions and last but not least make me jealous.

I want to be able to write like that. I want to be able to make people feel all the different emotions I do and leave it so they want to come back and see if I can do it all again. Sadly I can’t, and I am just going to have to put up with that fact, but secretly it bothers me. I always joke that I want  NGE on my gravestone, which stands for Not Good Enough. I’m not putting myself down when I say that, despite what you might think. What I mean is, I am great at lots of different little bits and pieces of things but I don’t excel at anything.

So I started a blog which guess what, yep it’s all little different bits and pieces, just like the cluttered workings of my brain.

I did have a debate with myself about this, and also about the blog title, because not everything will be about gaming, but I decided I like the name, it sums me up and I can write whatever weird and wonderful stuff I want on here. It’s not going to appeal to everyone, it may not even appeal to anyone but it’s a good way to store my memories, a veritable patchwork quilt of my madness.

So I shall let the content of Freshly Pressed stress me no more, I don’t have to be brilliant like the amazing people featured there. For all the thousands of brilliant writers out there,  are hundreds like me who are happy to be the blanket behind the stars!