On Good Writing

A couple or so months ago, I read a post by a blogger who had just come off of being Freshly Pressed. She talked about how everyone has a piece of writing that they’re proud of but just didn’t get any attention. She then invited her readers to introduce themselves in the comments, give an overview of what they like to blog about, and share the link to a post that they feel especially proud of and that maybe didn’t get as much positive feedback as they had hoped.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember who that blogger was, but maybe one of you will know so I can give her credit for her idea. I’ve been thinking about this the last couple days because it seems like the posts I write that get the most attention are the ones that I don’t necessarily feel are deserving of all the laud heaped upon them. I think this is common for people who create things. You always hear about musicians who say that their #1 mega hit was the song they hated the most. I just think it’s interesting that I primarily write about my childhood and Miss C and I get Freshly Pressed writing about wearing glasses and going to the gym.

In all honesty, that gym post is a lot meaner than I am 100% comfortable being. It was mildly humorous and hyperbolic, but still, I don’t want to be remembered for being snarky about the gym and inviting people to make fun of others just because they forgot to wipe the treadmill down after using it. I can be better than that. I have been better than that.

Wah, wah, wah. I know. I’m kind of looking straight at the gift horse and complimenting it for its lovely mouth by complaining about being Freshly Pressed. You can hold that against me. I deserve it. But really, it’s not fair that I’ve been Freshly Pressed twice in the space of the one year that I’ve been blogging, and there are others way, way better than me who have been blogging longer and have never been spotlighted. That’s my thought.

All this to say that I invite you to share a link in the comments to something you are proud of creating or that means a lot to you. In a perfect world, which one of your posts would be Freshly Pressed? Here’s mine. Please check out what other people share because I can assure you that it’s going to be quality.

58 comments

  1. It is so interesting that you write about being Freshly Pressed – I posted yesterday about longing to be Freshly Pressed and why I feel I need the validation (well, I’m a stats fiend – so that’s a major player in my insanity) and can’t just WRITE for its own sake.

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed TWICE! Interestingly, you’re the second person in 2 days that has felt that their “Freshly Pressed” post was not one of their best – I saw and enjoyed it. And I’ve read other postings from your blog and enjoyed them as well. The gym post was a nice jump off into your world.

    I have only been blogging for about 3 weeks – but I like this particular post – TIME TO LABEL THE CRAZY http://themercenaryresearcher.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/time-to-label-the-crazy/

    Thank you for allowing me to post it here –
    Rutabaga, The Mercenary Researcher

    1. Hi Rutabaga! I’m a stats fiend as well. I suppose it’s healthier than being a dope fiend, right? I’m also a “like” fiend and a “comment” fiend, so thanks for supporting my habit by doing both! Thanks also for sharing your link. I look forward to reading it.

      1. I love to comment and then comment some more. I am happy to support your stats habit. I hope you enjoy my post. And again, thank you for opening your blog up to other writers.

  2. I hear ya. The problem I have is that all of mine are brilliant. It would be hard to choose just one. (Crickets. Tumbleweeds.) Of course I’m kidding! I have some REALLY piss poor posts, if I do say so myself. I don’t know how to paste the post that I’m most proud of on here because I’m technically challenged. I think February 26 and 29 both have merit. Anytime I make myself laugh, I figure it’s a good thing.
    Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed… I think? : )

    1. Lisa, it is absolutely a good thing to be able to make yourself laugh! Since the baby is pretty much still an extension of me, I have no problem laughing at her. B thinks it’s mean when I laugh at her pushing her bottom lip out really far when she cries, but I made that lip so I am going to laugh at her, dagnabbit. Looking forward to reading your posts! :D

  3. http://lazylauramaisey.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/an-ode-to-my-tooth/ is one of my recent efforts that is probably the best demonstration of what my blog is about. It’s essentially anything silly which enters my head at 6am. I wrote this the day I was having a tooth taken out. It was my attempt to see the silver lining to the cloud….

    1. Your blog is all about awesomeness and hilarity, in my humble opinion.

      1. Thanks so much! Writing it at 5.30am is hilarity… due to my inability to perform basic tasks, eg, drink a cup of tea without spilling it.

  4. clownonfire · · Reply

    Emily,
    Funny enough, Madame Weebles and myself were discussing the intricacies behind being Freshly Pressed. We will have a great deal to say about the topic next weeks, after a long period of analysis and self-deprecation. And of course, congrats on your monumental of being Freshly Pressed twice… I hear it’s as easy to achieve as surviving the three first weeks of a newborn…
    Le Clown

    1. I cannot wait to read this. I stopped checking Freshly Pressed long ago because it was causing me to jab myself with cell phone chargers, and I don’t even know what that means.

      1. clownonfire · · Reply

        Speaker 7,
        The challenge will have to be delving into the topics without insulting our friends who have been Fp’d already, as some of these writers really do have a great voice. But overall, when I think of being Fp’d, I think of Gap’s beige khakis, and it’s not a good thing.
        Le Clown

        1. Nah, getting skewered by you and Weebs is like getting roasted by the Friar’s Club. If you can’t laugh at yourself or what others have to say about you, you need to just get over yourself and stab yourself with a phone charger.

          1. clownonfire · · Reply

            Emily,
            You wouldn’t be part of our diatribes, of course. And diatribe isn’t the right word: I think both Weebles and me poke fun, and remaining respectful to our readers, without being disrespectful.
            Le Clown

      2. I don’t really either, but I like the way it sounds. I am going to try to use it in a sentence today.

    2. I’d say that’s a good comparison. But does that mean I have two kids? Jebus, I hope not. I am currently filling out my application to the one-and-done club.

      And if you and Weebs team up for a post, my head may just explode from exposure to awesomeness. Don’t let that keep you from doing it, though.

      1. clownonfire · · Reply

        Emily,
        There are great parts in parenting, and it’s often equal by its fair share of challenges, right? You’re a great mom, and no matter what decision you take regarding one or more kids, it will be the right one.

        As for teaming up with Madame Weebles, damn right that’s going to happen.
        Le Clown

  5. Back on February 1st I wrote a blog post about bank robber names, how they got choosen, etc. It was pretty funny, people told me so! I would love to be that creative and funny every day. I hope you enjoy! And I am so looking forward to reading everyone else’s posts!

    http://womaninthemid.com/2012/02/01/better-bank-robber-name/

    1. I am really looking forward to reading that, lady! Criminal names in general are pretty hilarious and wonky.

  6. Emily, I don’t think your post was that snarky. It was funny and congrats for getting Freshly Pressed twice — wow. I was bestowed this distinction after four months of blogging and was bewildered by it. I know what you mean though, there are bloggers that deserve this. I don’t know what determines it, but I do think you deserve it! Even your gym one. :). Congrats!

    1. Thanks, Brig. I remember when you got FP’d; you also deserved it. Yours is one of those blogs that has a community of solid writers attached to it because they know good stuff when they see it. Even though being Pressed is an honor, I’d rather have that.

  7. Great idea and congrats on your freshly pressedness! I read your workout article before it was FP’d so I was completely unawares. I was FP’d right around the time fire was invented and have been continually shunned ever since. The post that was picked was okay-dokey, but not something I loved. I really like this post about the merger of religion and politics that few people read. It even has biblical quotes and who doesn’t love to read biblical quotes? http://speaker7.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/amazing-bargains-and-values/

    1. Certainly not me. On a tangential note, I once had the search engine query “live laugh love in bible?” Um, maybe?

      Can’t wait to read your post! If it’s anything like your 50 Shades post, I will prepare to read it by putting on an adult diaper.

  8. Funny you should write about this. Just the other day I was thinking about how my most popular post so far was my snarkiest: http://willowfeller.com/2012/06/18/hair-that-big-should-be-charged-for-its-own-seat-on-the-plane/ , although I did write about the just punishment I received for being so mean. I’m wondering if the cynical posts allow our readers a moment of vicarious cruelty–maybe the really sweet people who would never say anything bad about anyone get their unexpressed hostility out by snickering along with us. (Yikes! That makes me feel sort of sleazy, or something. Like a bad influence.)

    But I do have to admit that snarky pays. The abovementioned post will be published as an article in the e-magazine, “The Burnside Writers Collective” — http://burnsidewriters.com.

    Thank you, Emily, for your refreshing honesty and for the chance to plug my own blog here. You really do sound like a kind and gracious person. As a North Idaho hick, I would be honored to don my camo T-shirt and frayed jean shorts and go work out at the gym with you anytime.

    1. “I’m wondering if the cynical posts allow our readers a moment of vicarious cruelty–maybe the really sweet people who would never say anything bad about anyone get their unexpressed hostility out by snickering along with us.”

      That’s very insightful, Willow. I think you hit it right on the head. Sometimes we just want to get that snark out, and when someone else does it for us, all the better. Congrats on getting published (I’m jealous) and I’m excited to read your post!

  9. i hear everything you’re saying, but let me say this to you — never apologize for succeeding. i think it’s a woman’s disease to go, ‘but there are others who are better…’ men hardly ever do this and it’s one of the reasons why in competitions, they soar. i’m not putting down what you’ve said in any way. i’ve been guilty of this apologizing thing myself. what you do in those glasses and gym types post IS YOU APPEAL TO A MASS AUDIENCE. that’s what wordpress needs. they don’t care about what is our best writing. they care about what is our best writing that will appeal to the broadest audience. seriously. look at my fp post — it was about blogging. i would not say my blog is about blogging. i would say my blog is about family, alternative families, contemplating family, and relationships. will they ever press one of my gayby posts? probably not. when i wrote about blogging THAT appealed to the widest audience. but, who cares. to be able to write in a way that is both good, interesting, and reaches a mass audience is a skill. so much so that i’m having a hard time figuring out how to do it again! lol. you don’t have such a problem, whether you are doing it consciously or unconsciously. you know who else is interesting and doesn’t have a problem reaching a mass audience? stephen king. so, be proud of it. and – i would say – never poo-poo it because IT IS a skill and one you hit naturally. as for the other stuff, who cares, people will come for the fp and stay for the other good writing IF they are the right fit for you and your blog. that’s my 2 cents, anyway.

    here’s my piece: http://sweetmotherlover.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/doctor-visits-debunked/

    much love, sm

    1. clownonfire · · Reply

      SM,
      You’re an example of good writers being Fp’d. Hands down.
      Le Clown

      1. you should also be fp’d by this point. i have always thought you’ve ‘escaped’ that ‘honor’ simply because your posts are often esoteric in nature. and THAT is also an awesome skill in and of itself. it’s why your fanbase is so rabid. it just sucks that fp doesn’t reward that, but hopefully that will all change. you’ll write the post ’15 ways on how to be a magnificent dad’ for father’s day and whamo, you’ll get fp’d. lol. much love, sm

        1. clownonfire · · Reply

          SM,
          Thank you. Being not Fp’d at this point is something I have made peace with, and I do understand that there’s a slew of reasons, like being “esoteric” to being “crude”, and not maintaining a travel blog. But I am having the time of my life with my readership, and building a community. I am lucky to have such intelligent, compassionate and damn funny readers. It’s a reward in itself.
          Le Clown

          1. there are some people who have been fp’d who would kill for your readership. literally. and that is all you… i’m just sayin’.

            1. clownonfire · · Reply

              SM,
              Let’s go for coffee. Now. I’m hopping in the plane.
              Le Clown

              1. door is open! coffee brewing…

      2. Amen to that.

    2. You really are a Sweet Mother, Moms. Know why? That’s exactly what my mom would say. And it’s what I would say if Wee Cee ever wrote anything like the above post. It’s a natural inclination for me to start second-guessing myself whenever I earn something based on my own strength, like it was just a fluke. Thanks for your encouraging words, lady.

      1. definitely not a fluke. your stuff is well written and worthy of an audience. i thought that from the very first time i read your blog. and believe you me, i don’t say that often…. ;) sm

  10. This is a really generous thing to write. It’s a great sharing idea, too. I don’t mean to be wah-wah-wah either, but I’ve been at this 2 years and have NEVER been FP’d — though I’ve seen some of the most simple posts in those coveted spots, everything from basic recipes to someone’s haphazard vacation pics with a few words attached. And great for them! But I don’t know how the FP fairies work. So, in keeping with your invitation, this is one of my favorites, it’s simple but still means something to me. http://liveclay.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/when-do-you-know-its-time/
    Thanks, Emily!

    1. Yeah, those travel posts are snoozy. I think they get chosen because they go down like a Pepto Bismol. I also have no idea how the FP posts get chosen, but I think it has a lot to do with tagging and categorizing your posts just so the WP editors don’t have to work too hard to find them.

      I’m looking forward to reading your post! I wish I had had this idea earlier. It’s kind of like, “Give me something awesome to read!” And boom. It’s there :)

  11. You know, I’ve decided that I don’t really know what good writing is. I only know what I like and what I don’t like, and that goes for my own work as well.

    With WP stats and with professors in college and high school, the work I am the most proud of is too often not validated in the way I would expect.

    This post is one I am most proud of, probably because it was the first time I ever publicly wrote about my cancer. Is it good writing? I dunno. Am I proud of it? Hell yes, you bet I am.

    http://psychobabblepants.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/5050-cancer-and-an-ovary/

    1. I haven’t read it yet, but if you authored it I’m sure it’s awesome. There are a handful of bloggers who, for purely selfish reasons, I wish would write a book. You are one of them.

      1. Holy crap, THANKS! That just made my day :)

  12. What is this Freshly Pressed thing that causes such a kerfuffle? =/

    1. It’s blogs that are featured on the WordPress homepage.

  13. Congrats on Freshly Pressed! It’s great to have an audience and get the feedback. You deserve it! And since you asked, here’s the post my readers loved the most: http://piperism.com/2012/01/12/hold-on-were-going-gaga/
    And here’s the post that is my favorite:
    http://piperism.com/2012/04/14/ill-stop-the-world-and-melt-with-you/
    I’m grateful for this blogging world into which I’ve stumbled and all the awesome folks like you I’ve met along the ride!

    1. I completely agree. I live in a small town where I have few friends, but I never really feel all that lonely because I have this little blogging world to engage me everyday.

  14. I meant to say it yesterday but I didn’t know how to from a phone (yes! i was outside!)…congratulations on being freshly pressed twice. That’s amazing! And I didn’t think that gym post was that snarky but I know what you mean about wondering why a particular one is chosen.
    Like some of your commenters I’ve long given up on being freshly pressed; it’s not in the cards, especially since my faves are things like http://liquorstorebear.com/2012/01/27/5-ways-to-help-your-anus-thrive/ etc. ;)

    1. Really, if you haven’t been Freshly Pressed at this point, the system is broken beyond repair.

  15. You might be referring to one of Susie Lindau’s Use Me And Abuse Me Days.
    http://susielindau.com/

  16. I’ve been part of FP in the past, and they definitely did not choose my favorite post. I was surprised that I pulled any new readers at all. But some of my favorite stuff has barely seen the light of day. Maybe because I post five times a week and bury all the good stuff?

    I’ve got numerous windows open on my computer at this very moment with all of the posts your readers have recommended here. Looking forward to a good read!

    Anyway, one of my favorites was my “Lost in Translation” series which kicked off here:
    http://becomingcliche.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/lost-in-translation/

    1. I hope you enjoy the smorgasbord of posts! I like this idea of getting everyone to tell me what I should read. It makes my day a little easier.

      1. I know. I love to read what everyone else is proud of.

  17. I can relate to that. It is lovely when something that I have written touches someone.
    Here is mine.
    http://apoetsjournal.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/a-spoonful-of-jam/

    1. It really is the absolute best feeling. It makes the world a little smaller and cozier. Thanks for sharing, Carole!

  18. I have yet to see a mommy blog-type post on FP, and since 90% of what I write about is EB, I feel like my FP chances are slim. Thanks for asking for some links! It was a little hard for me and I realize I write/wrote a lot of crap just to get it out of my brain. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like it ;)

    One of my posts that gets the most just because people search braces non-stop apparently, and it was before I knew enough to properly source my pics (I’d go back and do it if I could remember where I found it…) so the pic comes up a lot in google images I think.
    http://illsleepwhentheyregrown.com/2011/10/05/i-am-jealous-of-my-neighbors-new-braces/

    And this one is just the truth.
    http://illsleepwhentheyregrown.com/2012/01/28/my-kid-just-ate-the-grossest-breakfast-ive-ever-made/

    1. I think the very, very first Freshly Pressed I remember reading was a mommyish blog, but that was a long time ago and I haven’t really seen any since. Well, good ones at least. When you find a good mommy blog, you have to hoard it and treasure it because it is as rare as a four leaf clover. ;)

  19. Freshly Pressed seems like a contest to me. Not a lottery, it’s not a complete crapshoot luck going on. You need some skill. It’s funny though how you say your best isn’t even on there. I’ve noticed that about other people too. I’m sure this happens with a lot of creative people. Like a director being known for a movie he did only for the money yet what he really was passionate about never gets the praise.

    Take the FP moments you had as ways to get new readers in. Don’t think that post represents who you are. I had something valuable to say here at the end but I forget. Oh well.

  20. This is a really good idea. I have two blogs and haven’t written enough on either to have a post I’m really proud of. I hope to do much better in the future! ;-) But since you asked, I quite like the the most recent one on my writing blog: http://hannahmeiklejohn.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/confused-reviews/ and this one http://bellusmundus.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/from-park-to-carnival-movements-from-hyde-park-to-notting-hill/ from my travel blog (although the latter is very long and had way too many photos!) :-)

  21. […] I have the inclination to apologize for the good things that happen to me. I have been told that I am not very good at taking complements. I am obstinate and resistant when […]

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