The Wet Spot

Irony and luck
Make odd bedfellows, content
to just make me smile.

**************************************

I have been trying to figure out the right way to capture how I’m feeling right now, a mere 4 days after being Freshly Pressed. Lot’s of stock phrases occur to me: The Morning After, My 15 Minutes are Up, etc, etc. But the one phrase that keeps coming back in my mind is “The Wet Spot”. (Let me pause here to apologize to my parents although I’m not entirely sure they read this.)

Why? Well this past Monday I experienced a blog-asm*. That is the only way to describe what it felt like to me to be featured in Freshly Pressed. An amazing high at my luck (it was like the quarterback asked me to the prom!). A joyful feeling that left me smiling for hours on end. I was distracted, consumed, enraptured by the experience.

But all good blog-asms must end. And when they do, you are left in the wet spot. This isn’t necessarily a bad place to be. Good things previously happened if there is a wet spot for you to occupy. But it can be a little cool (obsessing over the critical comments that echoed my own insecurities) and a little uncomfortable (holy crap batman, will I ever write anything as entertaining again?). And you aren’t quite sure what to do now that it’s over. Pretend it never happened? Worry it will never happen again? Become obsessed with your new followers and their comments?  Worried you aren’t reciprocating enough? Worried your non-literary spouse will leave you if you mention the word ‘blog’ again?

All of these worries share the wet spot with you, there’s no escaping that. So what to do? Roll over. Get over it. It will dry. Life goes on. Hope the memories will remain, bright and happy.

With an analogy such as this, there are clearly many avenues of further parallels that I am leaving unexplored, one in particular is the obvious question: do my new stats have a phallic look to them? Perhaps… But I run the risk of this post veering too close to the “God I hope my work friends never read this” path if I continue with that. So instead, I’ll say that my new stats are giving me a peace sign – two fingers side by side, with the ring finger and pinky knuckled over next to them. That works for me. That’s what a typical blog-asm does for me anyway…

So to the 9300 views and the resulting likes and followers and comment-ers, I say with deep gratitude, thank you. It was really good for me.

 

*After writing this I googled the word blog-asm and realized that I’m hardly the first to use this phrase, but when I wrote it I thought it was funny as crap, so I’m keeping it. Apologies to any trademarks, copyrights, etc etc.

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My Blog is Giving Me the Finger

Laughing at myself:
Required medicine for
getting through each day.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So I’m new at this blogging stuff.  I have wanted to write for a while, even started writing essays before I had a venue to publish. And so with some trepidation and a lot of excitement, I started this blog.  On December 19th at 10pm-ish, I announced to my friends and family that I had a blog, please visit, blah blah blah.

And then I became enamored with “site stats”. This is a fun aspect of Word Press where you can see the number of blog views, comments, external links and so forth. On that first evening, December 19, I watched as the number of views climbed 10, 15, 20, 30.  I went to bed having found the Android Word Press app and joyful in my 36 views that day.  The next morning, before I left the bed (yes, before I even pee’d) I pulled up the app to see my views. Already had 10 that morning, December 20th.  Wow! People were reading my stuff! How cool was that. 

It was on that seemingly quiet December 20 that my addiction to site stats came into full bloom. I watched all day. I would ask Frank “Guess what?” and he dutifully replied “What?” knowing exactly what I was about to say… still, he paused to hear me recite the latest number of views… 39 (“more than yesterday!), 48, 57, 65, 76!! I was ecstatic. I was hooked.

More than hooked, I became a junkie. And the hard part for a junkie? When the buzz wears off and there’s no more juice.  So December 20 ended with 102 views. And December 21 came in with its cooling breeze. 38 views. Worse yet, December 22: 11 views. After that, double digits weren’t frequent.  I was a failure. No one liked my stuff enough to return. How could I go on.

Now, just like “pretty is on the inside”, I know that writing a blog isn’t about the number of views you get, it is about writing for the fun of it, taking the chance, livin’ the dream. Yeah yeah yeah. These stats were cold hard facts that I couldn’t deny.  Worse yet, my ongoing failure kept showing itself to me in the “views timeline bar chart” Word Press provides – a visual of the number of views each day in your history.

And guess what the bar chart shows now? Well, it shows my blog giving me the finger.

Yes, every time I go to the stats page, until enough days have elapsed that this view of December 19/20/21 goes off the page, I have to see my blog flipping me off.  Well har-de-har-har.

So today, when talking with my friend Sandra (who gave me the title for this post) I decided to see the humor and humility in this circumstance (both words derived from the Latin “hum” meaning laugh at self and get over it).  Site stats be damned.  I welcome the Word Press finger. It will remind me of what is possible and compel me to post more often and perhaps get more friends who will read me more than once.

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