Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Why I Am Doing This

If I don't write, I will go bad crazy.

Not fun crazy. Like, agitated, moody, erratic, irrational, restless crazy.

Oh wait. Never mind.

Anyways. Why do I blog? This has been rattling around in my head for a while now, because I got this little Thinking Blogger Award. Actually I got it more than once. I'm squirming with humbleness and appreciation!!

Part of the deal is that I'm to choose five more blogs to award, and as I've said before, I just can't pick five. I've narrowed it down to seven and can't take anybody off. Everybody on my link list is there for a reason. I'm sorry, I guess this is kind of cowardly of me but I can't pick just five.

Instead, I'm going to share with you the reasons why I do this little exercise...and then someday soon I'll go through my list and tell you why it is what it is.

I started this in October of 2005. I was battling a horrible depression and anxiety disorder that had finally caught up with me on December 24 2004. I'm still not ready to write about the actual breakdown, but I will say this: I crushed it down for years. I told myself it wasn't so bad and I should just suck it up and get on with my life. Other people have it worse, I said, and it's true. I was still functioning. I kept going. When it came to a crisis point, I couldn't fake it anymore...

I spent the first half of '05 split into two. One of me went out and did the grocery shopping and smiled at the Othermothers and made arrangements with the guys who were reconstructing our house- another thing I'm not ready to talk about yet. The other one of me crouched in my own chest, watching that chest pain pulsating, clamping hands over the screaming, and debating ways to make it all stop.

I see myself as a sort of fragmented personality to start with. I don't think anybody else sees me that way, but I've always felt like I'm in one of those rooms with all the distorted mirrors. I'm generally okay with that. But this phase of my life was very difficult. I had to start all over again. That adolescent identity crisis got replayed only in an older and more painful version.

I put a lot of work into getting through it. I didn't really have a choice because I so very much hated everything. I had to make it stop and get it together. I had appointments every day. Doctor, pshrink, counsellor, naturopath, waaaaaaaaaaaaa (my cat just stepped on the keyboard but I think it's appropriate so I'm leaving it there.)

During this time my husband was pushing me to start writing again. I wrote in my journal every day but I hadn't touched my novel project in ages. I had one novel finished at that point. It had taken me seven years, mixed in with all the baby juggling and moving house. I had a children's novel started. He didn't care what I wrote, he just wanted me to get at it again. His buddy from work was selling his Mac Powerbook and Jethro was going on and on about it. I said no. I said I didn't want a computer of my own, I'd just use his. He insisted that I should have my own, and fill it up with words. I said no. I said I hate computers. He said, but this isn't a computer, it's a Mac. I said I didn't care. He said I'd love it. I said I'd hate it. He bought it anyways, the stubborn man.

I spent a couple of days whining that it all looked different and I didn't get it. Too bad, because he was taking his new Mac out of the box that day. It's all Mac. Get used to it.

I stared at my new old black computer. I poked it. It didn't beep back.

Then Jethro says, "You should start a blog."

I'd heard of the critter, but didn't know much about it. He suggested Blogspot and to this day I have no idea how he knew about that. Right away I knew what I wanted to write about: a stay at home mother with two kids, a husband who works too much, a horse that I didn't see enough, a property that wasn't big enough to build a barn on, and a head full of stories. My first post was about how I didn't know anything about computers because in my misguided youth, instead of learning how to use a computer, I was riding my horse and writing stories.

An interesting thing happened. Even though it took a few months for anybody to notice my little corner of the world, it felt good to write something, anything, on regular basis. It led to other writing. In fact, in November of 2005, I joined NaNoWriMo and I managed to blog, housebreak a puppy, keep my kids from starving and write a really crappy novel in thirty days. I still cried all the time, I still had a chest pain everyday, and often laid in my bed thinking it would be so nice to just stop breathing and not have to do any of this anymore.

But...I was back. At least part of me was coming back to life.

In 2006 I cracked open the novel I'd started about the horrible teenagers. I finished it just as the year ended. My horse died that summer and I've just brought my new horse home. I made a decision to make it official and get my Western Coach licence so I can teach people how to ride all perfeshnul and everything. I have started two new novels in the last two months. And I'm editing the horrible teenagers.

You know what? I still have problems. I am not a strong person, despite me listing off my accomplishments and developments. I can't check messages on my phone. It's true. Sometimes I go for three days and I can't answer it and I have to get Jethro to check them. I have days when I walk into my kitchen and damn near cry. But it's been a while since I wanted to die. I feel pretty good about that.

Back when I was a horrible teenager I didn't believe that I could ever make a living doing what I wanted to do. I made a few attempts at the horse business and got derailed. I didn't have the confidence to even try writing for a living...people who became authors were a mystery to me.

Since starting my blog it's become so very clear to me, all the facets of me, that I can't do just one thing. And, the two things that I want to do, are things that I must do. I have to be around horses. They fuel my soul. I have to write. It's a physical need.

I feel like myself when I'm making up fake people.

The amazing thing is that I have found other people here. I found funny and inspiring and crazy and intelligent and gentle and all kinds of interesting things. This blog has evolved into a neat little community, don't you think? I love it.

I get feedback here that I don't get from rejection letters. I get encouragement. I appreciate it so much. It helps keep me going.

I write a blog partly for practical reasons, specifically that it keeps me writing. It's good discipline to exercise that writing muscle. My typing's improved. My brain's gotten faster too. I might even be slowly learning to deal with that pesky Undiagnosed Attention Deficit Thing. This blog also helps me to explore things I don't bother with in my journal, but which has no other place. Most of all, I love the reactions. I've discovered something about myself. I love your reactions.

All ten of me agree...


her indoors said...

why do you make me cry! hey but you also make me laugh. Hick chic you are great, and i too have had those feelings and no doubt i and you and lot of others out there will have them again, but we have and we are learning how to deal with them, how to put them away in our mind.
Love your blog love everything that you write so glad i found it and so glad you write it!!!

Heidi the Hick said...

Thank you thank you thank YOU! We are all going to be fine. You know that. Thanks for reading you bubbly fun loving lady!!

Biddie said...

I am so glad that you have found an outlet for your..Heidiness. It was much needed, and we all love you. Don't stop.

dilling said...

I am ever so thankful to have hit the Next Blog button...
Your attention "problem" can't be too bad! I could never write a post that long that would be clear, coherent and follow one topic from beginning to end.
I would've have followed something shiny way back when...ooooh, look at that glittery thing over there... gotta go....

Balloon Pirate said...

All three of us love coming here and sharing in your life.

Right, guys?

Damn Straight!
Oh, you bethcha!


millhousethecat said...

"I feel like myself when I'm making up fake people."

Sounds like a famous quote that others will put in the beginning of their novels --- you know, somewhere in amongst those random blank pages in the beginning? That's where you'd find it.

I come by every day to check out your random thoughts and always appreciate your stories and shared emotions.

In fact, you've even been dinner table conversation ("I've sent my husband over a few times)...so keep writing about fake people and yourself and try to keep all ten of you in a straight line when walking down the hall. (Hey! You in the back? Keep yer stinking hands to yerself...)

terry said...

i love your writing. i'm so happy to hear that this is good for you, too.

Therese said...

Whew, you have seen some dark days--but look how bold and tough you CAN be. Maybe not all the time, every day, but then neither are any of us.

I think you should name as many TBs as you want. Five, seven, forty--just be you. There are no real rules, you know; people just make this shit up. :)

CindyDianne said...

Thanks for letting us be a part of your blog world!

Simply Amethyst said...

I don't know that I have ever "felt" so much while reading anyone else's blog. I love your writing, and your blog, but they are all just an extension of YOU.

Anissa said...

I love your words, Heidi. You have a passion in you that shines through everything you write. I'm so glad to *know* you out here in the blogosphere. :)

dilling said...

Billy Ray Cyrus is off that dancing show....are you too sad for words?!?

jo(e) said...

What a great post. I, too, would have gone crazy if I didn't have the outlet of writing.

Heidi the Hick said...

can't move right arm today...

yeah, sad to see beellyrrrray go. he brought the fun. hillbilly ballroom.

cadbury_vw said...

i don't comment all that much, but i really enjoy reading your posts

i am glad that jethro suggested blogging to you

dilling said...

geez, woman! what is this weird pain? it's worrisome!

captain corky said...

I hope you think I'm the crazy one. ;) I'm glad you started blogging too.