First, please tell us a bit more about yourself (name, age, where you live, what led you to making an adoption plan, and anything else you feel comfortable sharing).
Hi! I’m Marilee. I’m 22 years old and currently live in Fargo, ND. I’m originally from Okoboji, Iowa. It’s quite lovely. I have an amazing mouse named Mango who likes Star Trek just as much as I do. My youngish age at the time and financial worries led me to make an adoption plan, but one of my biggest regrets is not even considering parenting.
When and why did you begin blogging?
I began blogging when I had hit rock bottom. I was completely empty inside. I had lost my son to adoption and my boyfriend to my horrible depression in less than three months, and I didn’t even recognize myself. Coley suggested I to blog it out. Was it pretty? No. It was more like a 6 year old, some Elmer’s Glue, and lots of glitter than a Steinbeck novel. I’ve changed a lot since I started the blog in 2009. I’m still pretty cynical, but at least my rock bottom has a pillow waiting at the bottom now.
Tell us more about the title of your blog, Welcome to the Hicks Mix. Why did you choose it?
Remember when we still burned cd’s for people? Yeah…I don’t either. I had to burn one the other day and actually had to google how to do it. Thank God for iPods. Back in high school, it was the cool thing to do. My best friend, Travis, and my other half, Andrew, would always write “Hicks Mix Vol. 1” and so on and so forth on whatever cd they were making. I got a lot of duplicates. I probably have 4 Volume 1’s, but life goes on. They thought they were witty. It turns out they actually were. That name always stuck in the back of my mind, and what’s better than a mix of my random thoughts coming out of my blog? It just kind of fit.
Has the response to your posts been mostly positive, mostly negative, or a mix of both?
You know, one of my problems is that I’m super blunt. If I think someone is full of it, I let them know. I have had a few negative comments, but that comes with being me. I don’t think adoption is perfect. I do think a lot of reform needs to happen before I become an adoption advocate. When I spout off and go on one of my rants, I can’t expect someone to say “oh I fully agree”. Other than that, I have received a lot of positive comments.
Do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting their own blog?
Use your blog as your canvas, but proofread everything. While I might be a stickler for grammar, I know other people have issues reading a post filled with typos and other major grammatical errors. I don’t expect perfection, but I treat blog posts with love—even when my world is crashing down around me. What would one of my professors think if they read this and realized my blog was filled with comma splices? Perfection is overrated, but a readable blog is going to gain attention. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be quirky. Don’t use capital letters if that’s your blogging style. Write only in bubblegum pink font if that’s what floats your boat. Just make it uniform. Make it your own.