Last Wednesday, I was preparing to go out of town. My flight left early Thursday morning and I was running around doing last minute errands, making sure the kids would be taken care of for the next few days, packing, etc. I checked my email on my phone at one point to find that I had 80 new comments on a little post I had written the week before. (It could’ve been more like 10 new comments — you know how email always looks more dense on your phone. No? Just me?) When I checked the stats in WordPress, I had over 500 hits on my little blog. As you probably know by now, especially if you’re new here, that post was freshly pressed.
When the email came through from a WordPress editor telling me that I had been freshly pressed, I thought, “Well that’s nice. Maybe I’ll get a few new followers.”
I. had. no. idea.
I am so humbled by all of your loving and supportive comments and overwhelmed with gratitude by all of my new followers. What’s funny about being freshly pressed for that post is the fact that I almost didn’t write it. When Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons, asked me to participate in the “Lucky” edition of Collectively Creative I thought it was a perfect coincidence that it fell on Mia’s birthday. How easy would it be to write about how lucky I am to have her? It would be a birthday tribute to my daughter. Done.
Only every time I sat down to write it, I ended up deleting everything. It all came out sounding trite and forced. If I was going for funny, it fell flat. If I was going for touching, it reeked of sentimentality. I gave up. I walked away and didn’t think about it. Finally, the night before my post was due to go live, I sat down and wrote a letter to Mia as though no one but her would ever read it. It was one big stream of consciousness letter that wasn’t edited*, save for photo placement, before going live (mainly because it was 3 in the morning and I was just done). I read over the post later that day and found a handful of words I would change or things I meant to include but forgot. I thought it was too personal, that no one would relate to it, that it still felt too sentimental.
All of this is to say thank you. And to propose a writing prompt for you. (I happen to know that some of my new followers are fellow writers so what better way to welcome you than with a writing prompt?)
If you’re so inclined, write a post using the stream of consciousness approach. You have no more than an hour but you can stop at 15 minutes if you want to. You can start with an idea of what you want to write about or you can start with simply the blank page, but once you start writing don’t stop until your allotted time is up. Don’t worry about if it makes sense, or if there are grammatical errors, or if you’re jumping from one subject to another. Just write. The point of this is not to have a cohesive piece of writing when you’re done, but open your mind to ideas, thoughts and possibilities that might otherwise remain buried (you just might uncover an inspiring idea or two for future blog posts). When your time’s up, you can spell check but no heavy editing. Preferably no light editing either. When you post it, link back here or leave your link in the comments so I can check it out (because I’m nosy like that). Ready, set, go!
*I lied. I totally spell checked that sucker.