photo taken at the Natural History Museum

photo taken at the Natural History Museum

In my idea book, this project is called “The 5 W’s of Monique.”

I see it as a sort of who, what, when, where, why and how of my life.

For those who don’t already know me, my Internet days go all the way back to the 90s when I had a page on GeoCities. I maintained it using templates I created in Microsoft Word. Each page was like an entry in a diary, but it was more Carrie Bradshaw than Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; even back then I had a vision of maintaining some sort of web journal detailing my (mis)adventures through life. I got my first diary when I was six years old, and I have always been fascinated with telling my story to whomever will listen.

My friend ann is always preaching the importance of telling and owning our stories, and I understand what she means. We should always be creating, and sharing our stories in creative ways is a large part of that.

So, what is this exactly?

It’s more than just a blog, and it’s not just a journal. It’s a photo album. It’s a living history book. It’s rough notes and poetry. It’s a daily column. It’s a place for me to share what I know and what I learn.

me, yesterday at the USC bookstore being nerdy with my nerdy things

me, yesterday at the USC bookstore being nerdy with my nerdy things

In my English 102 class, we have to create a portfolio of our work to show our progress throughout the class and to reflect on what we have learned from each assignment we complete. I see this site as something similar. It is a life portfolio, really, documenting the journey I have had.

This is a work in progress. It is constantly under construction and always evolving. What it is today it may not be tomorrow, but what will be constant is the reflection of my life that it leaves behind. I want people to be able to come here and know that I was here; I want them to live my  experience through my eyes and words.

This is also an exercise in making me meet my daily writing goals. School and freelance work have taken over the bulk of my writing, and I sometimes forget what it is to write for the simple release it brings and the joy of it. Besides, the only way to get better at writing is to keep at it every single day; this is my instrument, and if I don’t want to get rusty, I must practice it.

I have to write to live. I have to write to eat. I have to write to be.

photo on display in the "Becoming Los Angeles" exhibit at the Natural History Museum

photo on display in the “Becoming Los Angeles” exhibit at the Natural History Museum

When I got the columnist position at the Union, I was excited to be able to share my thoughts and opinions with the community, but even then I was limited to what my editors would allow me to publish. When I spoke with Kate about what I would do when I was done with the program, she mentioned creating my own outlet as an alternative to going to work for someone else.

This is that outlet. I can say and do what I want. I won an award for column writing, so clearly I am good at it. Why not create a space for me to have a daily column?

I am not a niche blogger. I don’t talk specifically about fashion or beauty or being fat or being black or loving video games or liking to cook; my interests are eclectic and all over the place, and I want this space to be indicative of that.

One of my favorite bloggers is Tony Pierce. He does it right every single day, and I want to be like him when I grow up. His “how to blog” is still one of my all time favorite posts.

In journalism we are taught to always answer the 5 W’s in everything we write. I want to do that here; I want to always be answering one of the 5 W’s of Monique. Who? What? When? Where? Why? and sometimes I’ll even answer how.

Even in sharing my fiction, I am telling you my story, because a lot of my story ends up in my fiction; this is biomythography at its finest, and I sometimes change the names to protect the innocent and the ones who should be ashamed of them-fucking-selves.

But anyway, enough of this.

I can show you better than I can tell you.