Open My Eyes

Last Monday, my post “A Blogger’s Voice” was featured on Word Press Discover page, which meant that my blog was suddenly getting a much bigger audience than usual.  For the most part, I was thrilled.  I think every writer wants their words to reach as many people as possible (if we didn’t, we would just write in a personal journal) and the thought of all those new readers was exciting.  I was also flattered that a Word Press editor thought my blog was worthy of being included in their Discover program.  I really didn’t think this would ever happen to my blog.

But a small part of me was also worried.  I knew that along with all that extra exposure came the very real risk of a whole lot of spam, criticism, and downright nasty comments.  When they let me know I was going to be included in Discover, Word Press even included advice on how to the handle negative comments that might be coming my way. Honestly, in the days between being notified that I was going to be “discovered” and before it actually happened, I even toyed with the idea of backing out of the whole thing.

But then I realized that none of this would have happened if my good blogging friend Barb Knowles hadn’t recommended me to a Word Press editor.  Barb writes a funny, poignant and insightful blog called Sane Teachers , and has been a wonderful source of inspiration and support.  I didn’t want to let her down or have her think I wasn’t grateful for her recommendation so I decided to just go for it.  I figured between my spam filter and my ability to moderate comments, I could handle whatever negativity came my way.

And you know what?  The nastiness, the criticism, and the spam never materialized.  In the past week, I’ve added about 500 new followers and the last time I looked, that post had about 1,700 views. My spam filter caught no more than the usual amount of spam, and I moved about eight comments into the trash only because they included what I thought might not be a legitimate Word Press link in them.  Even then, I may have been overly quick to hit the “trash” button, but I didn’t want to run the risk of any of my readers getting a virus from a link on my blog.

My point is not that all those people loved my blog.  I’m sure that most of them didn’t even read it, and simply hit the “follow” and “like” buttons in the hopes that I would do the same for their blog.  My point is that the onslaught of negativity that I had anticipated didn’t happen.  Instead, I received lots of positive and courteous comments from other bloggers.  Being “discovered” connected me to many people who also struggle with finding the courage to put their true thoughts and feelings into their posts and then send them out into cyberspace.  It let me communicate with people from all over the world, both getting and giving encouragement and good wishes.  It was an awesome experience.

I am very, very, grateful to Barb and to Word Press for the chance to be “discovered.”  I am grateful for the new views, follows and the comments on my post.  But what I most grateful for is the way that this whole experience reminded me that there is still so much good in the world, and so many good people in the world, if only I’m willing to open my eyes and see.

125 thoughts on “Open My Eyes

    • I think it’s what used to be called “Freshly Pressed.” I hadn’t heard of it either until I saw another blog post about it. And I am so glad that it worked out. I think the fact that my post wasn’t about anything even remotely controversial helped a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I love when our expectations that there will be a lot of “negative” stuff turn out wrong. Its a challenging balance between paying attention and not getting sucked into a lot of hype. Glad being discovered worked out well for you–are you ready for your closeup?

    Liked by 3 people

    • They do a closeup? Hmmm….better get out my BIG sunglasses.
      And yes, I agree that the trick is to recognize and prepare for potential trouble, but not obsess about it to the point where we don’t see the good. Not easy, but I try!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How exciting and so happy that many more people will “discover” your amazing blog! You write so beautifully and people at all stages of life can relate to the topics that you share! Way to go!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. See!!!! You worried for nothing! Lesson learned??? 🙂 LOL! (If only we could learn to not worry – eh??!!) Congratulations sweet, dearn Ann! You are very deserving! So happy for you!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jodi! And you know, if I had to pick just one more thing I could learn during my life, it would be not to worry so much! Thanks also, for always being so supportive. Your blog is one of the main ones I looked to for inspiration when I was starting out. Our blogs are different, (I couldn’t paint a decent picture if my life depended on it) but our purpose is the same.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Congratulations! It’s beautiful to see that there are places left where human will bring no negativity.
    I flirt with writing not for long, so I always look for words that blend easily with my thoughts and help me understand where I could do better. Thanks for your presence here. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Congratulations Ann. I think I have said this before, well done bravely stepping forward. It is so easy to get caught up in the fear of what might happen if we put our voice out into the world. We won’t know until we hit the button and send our words out into the universe. You challenged your fear and because of that you have been able to find others that you connect with. Bravo. I am so happy for you. Keep sharing your unique voice.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Ann, I am one of those who discovered you through the wordpress discover program. And I am glad I did! 🙂 I followed you after reading a couple of your posts because I felt a connect and liked the way you put across your thoughts. And I still do.

    So true. We are all programmed to think of the negativities that could come our way and to prepare for it. In the process we sometimes refrain from taking “that step” because of all these thoughts. I call them the “quills” that we develop as we grow in order to keep ourselves “safe”. ( This was exactly my thought process when I wrote my blog Pineapple Porcupine and Me! ( https://deepasthoughts.wordpress.com/2873 ) )

    Keep writing and keep taking those newer paths. All the best!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Wow! What a nice compliment and thank you for the shout out! Just so you know, I had a bump in views yesterday from your link here, even though I was away for a weekend and not even blogging. Your post (all your posts) stands on its own merits, and your blog is so good and insightful that it had to be recommended. The editor could have ignored me and it completely, but once reading your blog knew it deserved to be shared with the greater audience of writers on WordPress. I may have dropped a hint, but your work stands on its own and I’m grateful to be one of your followers.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Congratulations , Ann! It was full of helpful tips for me . I’m glad I Discovered it. I enjoy your conversational way of writing. I am trying to write in that manner also. People connect better with the intent of the message and the heart of the author.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I enjoy your blog cause you provide an insight from the daily life in such a honest and funny way. Through WordPress I also discovered a blog of a doctor that has diabetes and how he handles and manage it. I found it amazing that he shares his personal insight and explanation if you are just willing to open your eyes, learn and educate yourself. Also “good in our world” is that there are free courses that you can take online through MIT coursera and it is also provided by the generosity of other people that we are not always aware of their actions.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Congratulations!!!
    I was Discovered last week, but found out through Twitter. So you got a letter. Wow! Did the Discover badge through it appearing in your widgets?
    I haven’t gotten any disrespectful comments but several blog-jackers who left their links. Ha! I just edited the comment or ignored it.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Dear Ann, belated congratulations on being ‘discovered’ and featured on WordPress Discover! I must have missed this important event in your life being preoccupied with traveling to our son’s wedding and some medical issues. I am so glad that your fears about spam, viruses and nasty comments did not materialize. With effective blogging in mind and with the aim of being a positive influence in the world we must be prepared to stick our neck out. We need more people like you, Ann!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually, Peter, we need more people like you who are always so encouraging to other bloggers. (And I suspect, most people you encounter!) Congratulations on your son’s wedding, and I hope that your medical issues are over soon. I look forward to reading more about the story of your life and how you and your wife finally crossed the Atlantic and got married! Thanks, Peter….

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Congrats and I really feel you on the fear of trolls and negativity. I have been reluctant to post much in my blog, despite it being one of the things I had hoped to nurture after I retired. Appreciate you putting a voice to this issue, and also glad I found your blog! Keep writing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I would encourage you to post what you want on your blog. Just set your conversation settings so that you have to approve it the first time someone comments. That way, you won’t have any comments on your blog that attack you or others who are leaving comments. I felt much braver when I realized I could do that. I want my blog to be a “safe” place for everyone to express themselves, as long as they aren’t being hateful or completely inappropriate.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Thank you so much for this post! I started blogging two months ago. I’ve always loved to write and wanted to be motivated to do more of it. I also wanted a way to deal with all the “noise” in my head and sort out my thoughts and feelings, but putting down my truth and being authentic and sending it out to the universe was nerve wracking! Although I’ve yet to experience the negativity (likely because I only have 13 followers right now!), with every post I become more prepared to deal with it, if and when it happens.

    I’m inspired by your ability to put yourself out there for a wider audience! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Congratulations on starting your bog! It will continue to grow as you continue to post, and I think you’ll find that most of the people on Word Press are very nice. I thought that having a bigger audience for a few days would mean that I’d see more negativity, but it didn’t really happen. My guess is that you won’t see it either. Take care, and happy blogging!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve been meaning to say Congrats! This is what you have been aiming for: to be a writer and here you are! I’m very proud of you and happy about this too. I wondered how it happened and how one gets ‘discovered’. It’s very, very cool Ann. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Well, first of all I should ask for your autograph before you get so famous you won’t remember who I am😊
    Then I can sell it on the open market and become independently wealthy.
    At least that’s the plan.
    Seriously…congratulations!!! I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this recognition. You are a terrific writer and individual and you pour your heart into every word you write in an honest and personal way.
    Your writing is always highlight..:)
    Now, about that autograph😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so funny! But think about this: if I ever wrote a few dozen best-sellers, then my autograph might actually be worth something. So I have a plan. I’ll write the books, you talk the publishers into giving me big bucks for them and making sure they sell millions of copies, and in return, I’ll mail you my autograph which you can then sell for tons of money! I think we need to do this….. there’s a condo somewhere in Sanibel that is just waiting for me to buy it.
      But seriously, thanks for your kind words. I don’t think I deserve them, but they are good to hear anyway. I hope you know how much I appreciate your support!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Whoa…lets go back a few lines here. If I’m going to convince publishers to sell your books, I believe they call that person an agent, which is cool because I always wanted to be an agent. So, let’s get back to the plan. You do the writing, I do the selling, you make millions, I get ten percent, you buy the condo on Sanibel, I buy a cottage overlooking the ocean in Maine and every once in a while we can swap places until you sell another book, it becomes a bestseller and we upgrade from a condo and cottage to something more exclusive.
        That’s my plan….deal?

        Liked by 2 people

        • You drive a hard bargain, but yes, it’s a deal! On the one stipulation that if you are the one who writes all those best sellers, then I get to be your agent and earn 10% of profits. (And I believe some agents are now asking for 15%, but we can discuss that detail later.) One way or another, I’ll get my condo on Sanibel and you’ll get your cottage in Maine, and yes, we’ll swap once in a while. Until we make billions, and then we’ll both own houses on the French Riviera!

          Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Kim! And I feel exactly the same way about your blog. I don’t remember exactly how I first found it, but I do remember that it was your honesty, compassion and quality of writing that made me hit that “follow” button, before I even got to know you!

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.