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What Makes a Post Freshly Press-able: There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

Every day, a handful of WordPress.com bloggers are featured in Freshly Pressed. And every day, many more wonder, “What do…

Every day, a handful of WordPress.com bloggers are featured in Freshly Pressed. And every day, many more wonder, “What do I have to do to get Freshly Pressed?”

Well, it’s time to reveal what the folks who push the launch button are thinking. Each week, we’ll take a close look at one post and why we thought it was Press-worthy. We hope we can provide insight into the process and give you tips and tools to make your blog the best it can be.
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Many Freshly Pressed picks make us laugh, introduce us to new ideas, or provoke conversations. After all, one reason for having Freshly Pressed at all is to inspire everyone to blog more, so we’re drawn to posts that will stimulate discussion.

Sometimes, though, a post slices through the din of the blogosphere on the strength of raw emotion. When we run across those posts, we share them for three reasons:

  1. There is power in the words used to so bluntly describe a painful experience.
  2. We know that the WordPress.com community will respond with support.
  3. Sharing the post might help some else facing a similar situation feel less alone.

That’s why we recently featured There Is a Light That Never Goes Out, from new blog Charlie’s Other Angel. Two things about this post forced us to stop in our tracks:

The opening line made us sit up and take notice.

It’s not often that you click over to a blog and are confronted with:

My ex-husband died tonight.

There was no cute story gently introducing the topic, no collage of family photos, no loving words about the deceased; just four simple words landing on our screens with a thud. “My ex-husband died tonight.”

Those words tell us what the post will be about in more ways than one. Yes, it will be a post about a serious loss. And it will be straightforward and unforgiving. There will be no scrim softening the line between the experience and the post—this blogger is going to lay things bare. This will not be an easy post to read, and if this topic is a trigger for you, now might be a good time to leave.

She pulled no punches.

True to her opening line, she was honest about her ex-husband, their relationship, and herself.

Because, over the 22 years I’ve known my ex, it hasn’t been easy.  It was often fun.  I laughed and cried and laughed some more.  I got cancer.  I attended a lot of Al-anon meetings.  I wished his death on at least one major occasion, and luckily God knew me better than that weakness of character and said No…

I am so sad.  And not just for our boys — though most especially for our boys.  Sad at what might have been for this sweet man.  Sad that he hadn’t been able to kick the demons.  Sad that it took his final month to bring us all back together, so close.

This is not a storybook memorial to a prince charming. It’s a real-life look at the flexibility and resilience of the ties that bind family members, even those from whom we think we’re unfettered. Ultimately, it’s the story of a woman who was able to knot off one of those ties in a way that brought her peace, and the redemption of a man ultimately bested by his addiction.

Blogging can be a scary activity when we’re publishing something lighthearted; there are always elements of fear and uncertainty when we release our words into the wild. To write so openly and eloquently about such a deeply personal experience takes another level of bravery, one that we’re moved to acknowledge.

Charlie’s Other Angel is off to an incredible start with this post—will you stick around to read more?

88 Comments

  1. Yep. That is a devastating opening line. I came to THIS story because someone tipped me off that I had been Freshly Pressed yesterday. Having no idea what that meant, I checked my site this AM to see that I had well over 500 views yesterday. Not sure why THAT had happened, I found this story about exactly that process conveniently at the top of the charts.

    So thank you, and both congratulations and my condolences to Charlies Other Angel.

  2. Please read my HELP article and offer me some way to talk to WordPress and fix my publishing problem. I love writing for WordPress, it is therapeutic and refreshing. I have been chosen for freshly pressed-a great honor. But I can do nothing when I cannot get the PUBLISH button (Green on my screen) to allow me to publish. Once in a great while, I get through by publishing without tags, titles, etc and then going back and editing my article. Even this is not working well now, especially on photographs. Please help me find out what has happened to my WordPress site!

    1. We definitely want to get your publishing again as soon as possible! I’ve sent you an email to get things going; please respond directly to that, and we’ll figure out what the problem is.

  3. I read that post and was very moved on many levels. Well deserving of FP and yes, I will stick around as well!!! Great post today!!

  4. Very emotional intro here! I can’t wait to check it out. It arouses strong feelings of emotion. I already feel like giving encouragement to someone I know nothing about. Thanks for selecting this piece. I’m off to see for myself!

    1. Judging by the archives on your page, you’ve been up since about March. Just hang in there! I’ve heard it said that it takes about a year to gain a really good readership. Here’s a few quick tips for a attention on your blogs-

      1. Good writing (a given, and the glance I saw on yours looked good. I’ll check back in later. )
      2. Approachability (an invite to comment, interacting with your current readers, replying to their comments, etc)
      3. Reaching out (interacting with the community, commenting on other blogs, checking out the blogs of your followers…)

      These are just a few tips. It takes a while to get it all down, so don’t worry! My blog itself is fairly new, but I’ve been working in the online content business for a few years, so I know how the business goes. It takes a while to get established! :)

    1. Just keep doing what you’re doing here–be an active part of the community. Engaging with others will always be the best way to move them to engage with you.

  5. i am so glad i found this on freshly pressed. i cried more than once. i can relate to the loss. i can relate to living with the struggle of alcoholism and the ongoing grieving process it brings with it.

    it’s truly inspiring to see someone be so honest with their emotions.

  6. My blog was a guest blog about a charity that has been only going for 3 months and is already international. The charity is set up to help people who have gone through Domestic Violence. I believe this should be shouted from the roof top.

  7. Good to know how to be Freshly Press-able, im thinking of a few stories i could use to make my post more enticing and make an impact. Thanks for the insights i may try to get a post Freshly press able

  8. I read this blog the other day and was equally moved by it. Some amazing writing and a wise choice on your part. A good example of what good writing is and what I aspire to accomplish with my own blog. xo

  9. Some of us wonder why we’ve never been Freshly Pressed a lot. We’ve even been tempted to beg. But then again, it’s important to be reminded that others sometimes deserve the honor more than we do, and Charlie’s Other Angel was most deserving of the Freshly Pressed honor.

  10. A very poignant and heart-wrenching post. My ex and I have known each other since grade school We were there for 34 years through which we lost a son toward the end. The pain of that loss colored every other thing and was a dark reminder every time we looked into each other’s eyes. At the end of the day, there wasn’t enough to keep us together. I will follow her blog and thank you for sharing her with us.

  11. I read that post because I saw it on freshly pressed and am looking forward to more posts from the writer. I always enjoy the variety of blog’s featured, it’s good to read things I wouldn’t necessarily seek out and read myself. I have been introduced to some great blog’s this way.

  12. I usually dip into the freshly pressed blogs to see what our community is up to and I did read and like ‘there is a light that never goes out.’. I don’t have an ‘ex’ but I can relate. That’s the thing about other people’s articles. Somewhere, on the other side of the world, somebody is saying the very thing you’ve always said, or saying something that gives you pause for thought. I say our community because when I began blogging, I was ‘a stranger in a strange land’. Now I am beginning to recognise some of the people who reply to the various articles I read. I sometimes visit them. When I began blogging I analysed to death the why of freshly pressed, now I just dip in and enjoy. (This doesn’t mean I don’t want to be fp one day.)

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