When I first looked in my email inbox and saw the words ‘Freshly Pressed’ I thought that someone was trying to sell me orange juice over the internet. Not from concentrate obviously. The fact that it had appeared in my Junk folder didn’t make it any better. Opening it I could see ‘your blog will be featured on the WordPress homepage’ and my first thought was…damn, where are they going to ask me to put in my card details or my mother’s maiden name? I turned out to be delightfully wrong.
It seemed that one of the editors of the Freshly Pressed section had read my blog on Diwali (‘Shed Light’) and had found it illuminating (had to put a pun in there!) and wanted to feature it on the homepage. Then it dawned on me – my blog was going to beamed around the world as a featured piece of writing AND it was covering one of the biggest festivals in the world. Little old me. At this point, I was ceremoniously waving my arms in the air, hollering and telling complete strangers who were beside me what had happened. It seemed to go down rather well (you can see my coveted blue badge on the right of this post!).
But then we do that thing that humans are prone to doing – questioning. So I did. Why me? If each Diwali blog this year was printed on a single piece of paper, then there must have been a whole library full of them…and yet someone seemed to like my piece of paper and decided to photocopy it. It was very humbling. Sometimes when I think about writing and publishing, as I am sure every writer does, questions whether anybody is listening to what they are saying or frankly whether anyone cares. Luckily, the obsession of getting ‘hits’ and ‘traffic’ doesn’t influence me as much as I thought.
That is the reason that it means so much. I have kept to the reasons why I started writing this blog a year ago, to inspire people to think differently. I have managed to do that by writing about things that I find interesting or are worth exploring in my own unique way. Don’t get me wrong, it is a graft. I say graft, I mean more like a labour of love (boy, that was cheesy wasn’t it! ) Many people have approached me asking me what the magic formula is and how to get there, when an audience starts to take its seats and begins to listen.
The truth is that there isn’t (or if there is I haven’t realised it yet). All I know is that you have to build and develop a voice. That could take an hour, a day or 10 years, but once you have got it then the rest will come when you are hitting the right nerves. It has taken me a year to get this stage and every step to get there has been a 10 ft high learning curve. I am grateful that my audience has finally bought it tickets and are ready to sit down. They are buying their programmes and waiting in apprehension to see what comes next. I myself don’t know what is behind that curtain, but I bet that you won’t want to leave at the intermission.
A massive thank you to the Freshly Pressed team for their brilliant support. They do a sterling job and it is an honour to be put in great esteem with the other writers that we see on there every day. (I know you guys don’t want to sell me orange juice now!)