Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Seventh Blogiversary HICK CHIC Giant Link-O-Rama Greatest Hits and Missteps! (Seriously there's a lot of stuff going on here!)

(Man I've been working on this for a week. Enjoy!)

SEVEN YEARS AGO  I started writing this blog.

I Needed to write.  I wanted to write about what it's like   to be someone who just IS a country dweller, with a need for wide open spaces,  living in town and dealing with it.  I was living in a subdivision in a house I cherished,  despite its one irreparable flaw of being located in town, and surrounded by wonderful neighbours who made me feel like I could survive in a place that wasn't my natural habitat. 

I called it HICK CHIC because I believed you could be a boots-wearing country bumpkin and still look good.  

Sounded like fun eh?

Of course, it sort of turned into a list of my favourite things, including horses,  my husband,  pickup trucks,  rockstars,  Johnny, my black house cat who was the very old best-cat-in-the-world, my Pug puppy,  and of course, my kids.

And the family business worked its way into the story too. 

What I didn't expect was that the blog evolved
into a sometimes 
painfully honest confession
of my mental health struggles and triumphs.

I actually think some of it was kind of funny.   Not sure if that's good or bad.  Don't care, really. If I wasn't already aware that I am kinda weird, writing this blog made it pretty clear. Then I found out for sure without a doubt, that I do actually have ADHD and things started making sense in ways that wouldn't make sense unless you get it, get it?  I am brilliant at the whiplash subject change, it turns out.

You know, I have gotten so scattered with this blog project.  I went off on the rebelliousness of interior decorating,    dissertations on style and clothes,    my slightly embarrassing pirate fixation, my shameless love for gnarly old cars and pickup trucks,  not to mention my lifelong association with scrap metal (what, you didn't grow up playing in junk?) and threw some fabulous blog parties!

My husband and I had been together forever and had big plans to build a recording studio in a barn, and like, dominate the world and stuff like that. 

Things have changed so much in the last few years.

Well, Jethro and I are not dominating the world -- just a small corner of it.  We just want that recording studio in a shed behind the barn, or whatever, as long as he can walk across the yard to get to it and doesn't have to live in the city part time to do his work. But in the meantime, he's made me into a rather well-travelled hick.

When I started this blog, I intended to finish writing my epic novel and then go through the process of writing query letters and getting a literary agent to choose me, then waiting for him/her to find me a publisher, and then go through all the emotional turmoil of my book becoming a real book and all that entails.   I still want that.  Who knows how it will go; maybe I'll land an agent.  Maybe I won't.

I did finish that epic novel by the way, and got pretty far with it before realizing it wasn't as ready as I'd hoped it was.  So I started another one and then another one.  And finished one.  And am now finishing it again for the second time.

Things haven't gone quite as I had planned back when I started this blog.  Yes, we sold our house and moved to the country, but it wasn't the way we had imagined or planned.  We moved into the place we'd gone for weekends and holidays and family events, the place we kept our horses and our sanity and peace of mind.  We moved to the Ol' Homestead.  With the parents!

Living in the country has been wonderful.  I am with my horses every day and I even get to ride three times a week!

And the whole time I've been writing this blog, Life Has Been Happening

I teach people how to ride horses for a living.     I love my work so much.

I have realized that I AM A WRITER.

And I feel much better now.

I think I've realized the real focus of this blog.

It's for all of us who just don't quite fit in, can't quite behave, don't think they way we often feel like we're being told to think.  We all find each other eventually.

I haven't been making much time for blogging for the last year or so and I have been considering just shutting it down and leaving it alone.

But I don't think I will.

As long as four or five of you are still reading, and you can wait a month for something new, I'll keep writing.

There was a time several years ago when I wondered what I'd have to do to become a career blogger, writing blog posts every day and end up with book deals and TV appearances and... it just wasn't the path I set myself on.

I keep poking at the idea of turning some of this into a book, though.  A Hick Chic Guide.  To Life.  And stuff.  I've still got words in me needing to get out.


Kali J said...

I know I never really comment, though I read religiously. But you've given me so much hope. You're living and enjoying it and have people who love you, even when things in your head aren't always quite right. It means maybe I can have that someday too.

Laura Crum said...

I love your blog. Your honesty, your love for your horses and family, the glimpses you give me of a life in a very different place to my California coast--it is really neat. Thank you for articulating what many of us feel but cannot say. You are a wonderful writer!

Undercover Sandy Cove-r said...

Please keep it going, Hick Chic. It's good for peace of mind.

jules said...

I"m still here, after all these years. I'd miss ya Heidi, if ya left us.

Keep on keepin' on chic! I'll be right here, waiting on the next Blog Party!!! (LUV those!)


Paul Tee said...

Hello Heidi:

Loved your retrospective. It proves a point: it is good to take a step back and look at things in your life from a distance. Sometimes we get so wrapped up with what's happening now, that we forget to look at the bigger picture. In your case, I think blogging has been therapeutic. It allowed you to hang out the wash instead of hiding it a giant laundry basket that was growing into a mountain. I've always been impressed by your honesty and the way you present things. (You have the word skills to make it interesting).

A lot shows through. Of course you have other safety lines to steady you: your family, husband and kids, parents, horses and pug, teaching, the farm, the country and a bad ass (but sadly aging) pickup truck. God! Did I forget music? Pulsing, raw, shredding, pounding... the more the better, and of course the persons wielding those instruments.

You ARE a writer, I have been shouting that from the roof tops. And your blogs give a bridge between your experience and yourself. In some ways I think you kind of healed yourself. (And of course, I'm looking forward to all your books and the Guide.)

So, I really want to encourage you to keep on blogging. It had become a sort of campfire we can all gather around. And what would I do, if suddenly there was not something new from HickChic to sweeten my coffee.

I'm back from Germany where I have been reconnecting with my past as well. It was sweet. Believe it or not, I wrote the above from there, but Google did not let me send anything (from a "strange" location--go figure). So, please, no more talk of quitting. Blogspot would be a sad place if you shut things down.

mugwump said...

C'mon Heidi, I'm hanging in, and will always be reading, plus, your blog party is the only event I actually show up at!

Auntie said...

Like a few others, I always read your blog but I don't always comment. Quite often I have to get my head around what you have written and a response doesn't immediately come to mind. That's a good thing, Heidi. You make us stop and think. Please keep blogging and we will keep reading. I might also add that I love your award show reports. I don't have to watch the actual shows but I don't miss the good stuff!

Heidi Willis said...

I was thinking not too long ago about how long ago it's been since blogging was "the thing" and how much life has changed since then. You were one of my first blog friends - a random namesake from Nathan Branford's blog - and now he isn't even an agent and we've both finished other books and become real friends that have actually even talked on the phone.

I'm glad you aren't giving up the blog completely. There is such a history here, and I know there's more history to be told. I love your openness and randomness and enthusiasm. You bring a world to my doorstep I might not otherwise see.

And how else would I know what's going on at the Oscars??

Love you!

Paul Tee said...

I have to reiterate how your blog has become an Internet campfire we, sojourners, like to gather around in as a shelter from the unfeeling cold that's all around us in Cyberspace. I have clicked in the farthest reaches of the Unter and the Overnet, fought my way through predatory URL's, and when I start fracturing, not knowing where to go, I know there is a place for me at hickchic blog anytime.

Marissa said...

I've only just found your blog. But I can tell I now have a long time of reading in front of me, you are awesome!

pseudosu said...

"It's for all of us who just don't quite fit in, can't quite behave, don't think they way we often feel like we're being told to think. We all find each other eventually."

Hey Heidi. I've been terrible about checking in, and about doing my own blog too. I have thought many times in the last year about just pulling the plug too, but, who knows why i sporadically do it, an outlet i guess. I love that you are still up there in Canadia, being you. Maybe our blogs will act as signal flares, oddball to oddball. "Hey-- still here, how about you?" :)

Heidi the Hick said...

You know what? I appreciate every one of your comments more than you know.

See you at the next blog post...!

Paul Tee said...

Good thing too, as I was about to set up a picket line in front of your blog to protest the "Extreme Lack."

HONK if you support more blogs!

Paul Tee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kimber said...

You ARE a writer. Keep writing. We'll keep reading. Cheers to you, Hick Chic. Long may ye ride!

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