If you were somehow trapped under a rock, admitted to the hospital for a rare debilitating (but short in duration) disease, did not see one of my blubbering Facebook posts, or were not one of the seven random strangers who I held hostage to discuss “blogging” yesterday, then you may not know that Monday’s post from Witty Little Secret was featured on probably the leading blog publishing website, known as WordPress. Yay for WordPress! Yay for Witty Little Secret! *Shivers*
One of the most rewarding moments was realizing that I had real live spam. Bona-fide Russian, Singaporian, Levitra-selling spam. Point of fact, I got more of that delectable canned meat in one day than total words I’ve written so far. I must admit, I very nearly approved my personal favorite just to memorialize the event. It read, “I pronounced to remember it as a cyclopean investment; an agency gambler in cleaner feet.” Isn’t it beautiful? It could have been written by Hemingway himself.
So this must be what hittin’ the big-time feels like, folks. I know, you’re jealous. In a few short hours over four thousand people found their way to ooo and aah over my one month-old baby blog. Four thousand. I can’t even envision what four thousand people in one room looks like. (Really, I can’t. I don’t do numbers. But I know it’s a lot.)
The main portal to Wordpress is this checkered recommendation of ten or so featured posts, collectively entitled “Freshly Pressed.” Every blogger enters the site here, to peruse the charmed, hypothesize about why the editors loved these stories, and plot their own schemes to get noticed. Frankly, why in the world this editor liked Witty Little Secret is a complete mystery to me. I always assumed these were big-time blogs with lots of notoriety and attention, not one-woman diaries lacking in readership and containing inane subjects explained without proper punctuation leading to incredibly long superfluous hyphen-rich but often well-understood sentences. I never dreamed I’d see my blog on that marquee, not in a bajillion years. I realized for the first time that somebody other than my mother was actually interested in reading this thing.
That’s when it happened …
“What if they come back? What if I’m not funny tomorrow? What if they DON’T come back? What if I never get noticed again? Did I really fritter away my one morning of fame by standing in front of the courthouse in the rain bragging to that smelly guy wearing a tinfoil hat? Why did he call me Winnifred? What if Oprah calls? Should I go on a crash diet? Who’ll watch the kids? Do I need a publicist? Should I let the Wall Street Journal know?”
And then, no matter how hard I tried, I absolutely could not write. I’m pretty sure it was an undiagnosed case of performance anxiety. I was willing, but my body would not cooperate. Now that I was famous, there were expectations. Responsibilities. Duties. I was suffocating, crushed by the weight of my own fame. I was frantically emptying my pockets, looking for that little blue pill that would relieve me of my problem. And then, it hit me. I just needed to check my stats.
That’s right. The girl who hates numbers l-o-v-e-s her stats. Because when your blog is doing well, you just l-o-v-e to look at yourself in the mirror. See, WordPress gives you these pretty pictures that represent site visits, with racy colors and lots of buttons. It’s all so very sexy. This was definitely going to get me in the mood to write. I made my plan. I would look around, admire my huge bar, see where my voyeurs, er, visitors were coming from, and close my eyes. I would imagine them reading my posts, throwing their heads back in laughter, “Ah ha haha, you’re sooooooo witty! I just can’t wait to read your next post!”
I was getting frothed up. Yeah. I was gonna like it … and you know what I got?
That’s right. The finger. My stats flipped me the freakin bird.
What’s the meaning of this!? It charmed me, flirted even. It loved me and threw me away like a truck stop whore. I felt used. Abused. Dirty.
Blogland, listen up. Let this be a lesson to you all. You wanna know where you end up the day after your one night stand with Freshly Pressed? You’re a has-been on the blogging-room floor, flipped off by your own graphic numerical representation thingys. You’re a reveller of distant memories, you’re Delta Dawn, longing for your long-lost lover, doomed to walk the halls of the courthouse regaling the day you were published and adored by the world. It’s a fleeting moment, friends. Take it in, breathe deeply and smell the cyber attention. Hold it there as long as you can, exhaling only after you realize that once it’s gone, you’ll be left with the one and only thing you have left in this world:
your own words.