How do you even start a blog? I feel like once it’s up and going, it’s smooth sailing. But starting it? It’s gotta be something to attract attention, right?
“Hi, my name’s Monique. I’m a Red Bull addict, and I love long walks on the beach…”. But in all seriousness, those are both true. I’m a sucker for caffeine, particularly in the energy drink department. More specifically, the Red Bull department. Primarily the Red Bull department, actually. And I love walking along the beach, in the shallow end. I don’t necessarily always swim at said beach, but that’s okay.

I have a love for piercings and tattoos and have been bleaching and dyeing my own hair since I was 13 years old. I love traveling and concerts, even more so when I get to travel for a concert! Double whammy! As for the writing thing…that started after I discovered QUIZILLA!

I discovered Quizilla in like…2005? 2006? Does anyone remember that or even know what I’m talking about?! It was a website where people could create their own quizzes, but over silly things like…what kind of pizza are you? Or what Hogwarts house you’d be in orrrrr what character from Friends does your personality resembled the most? They were so stupid. I remember the multiple choices would be so obvious too, so if you knew what you wanted the results to be, you’d just pick those corresponding answers and ta da! Yet I’d always feel so proud of myself at the end if I got the result that I wanted…

Either way, people started using it to write short stories; some original and some fanfic. Sometimes they’d have a lot of thought and work put into them where they’d stick to the multiple-choice layout and depending on what you picked, that would change how the story went. It felt more personal that way. (I know there are a bunch of video games like that, and isn’t there a Black Mirror episode like that? (I wanted to write multiple endings for Inked Caffeine and still might, just for my enjoyment though…)) But then the effort got more and more…I don’t want to say lazy, because the story was still written, but…thoughtless? Sure, we’ll go with thoughtless. The multiple choice turned into one answer only and it’d usually say “Ok :)”. Regardless, I was addicted to them.

So, it was 2006 and there was this girl named S (I don’t know if she wants her legit name in here, so let’s call her S), and she wrote this story that I was so incredibly invested in, I dedicated all my free time to reading it. It was all I talked about to family and friends, until one day I asked my sister (who’s an artist (whether she agrees or not)) to draw the story characters, and I scanned the picture, contacted S through Quizilla and asked her if I could email it to her. AND THE REST IS HISTORY! Hahaha, but no, actually. S is 100% the SOLE reason I started writing, and I can say that confidently. I was so obsessed with her story, that I wanted to create my own.

She stopped posting on Quizilla, we talked to each other on MSN (R.I.P) and she’d email me new additions of her story; sometimes even new stories she was coming up with. It wasn’t until a year later when I wrote my first story. It was terrible. It is terrible. I resurrected it from my old-ass laptop a few months ago and I skimmed it and I cringed. The layout and set up are enough to make your eyeballs ache, and the lack of flow and the plot are just…yeah, we won’t be looking at that again.

Then I wrote a much better story in 2009. That one I can actually read and honestly, maybe if I ever find the time (or energy), I’ll rewrite it to be something legit. It’s pretty lengthy. The following year was a big year for creativity, and I wrote three more stories; although neither one of them are finished, because my brain decided to put them all on hold while it molded the idea for Inked Caffeine in 2011. From that point on, anything that happened to me, any conversation I was involved in or overheard…anything that could influence me in any way, became a part of Inked Caffeine. Some things made the cut, others not so much, but I have everything written down. I just authentically put myself into everything. Every character either has a bit of me, or a bit of someone I know, and the funny thing is, I didn’t do it on purpose or ‘plan’ it. I’m easily influenced, I guess. Or just remember people really well?

That being said, a lot has changed since the original draft of the story. The title, first of all, is totally different than what I originally had (thank god), character names, character appearances, parts of the plot changed a lot…but all changes I am 100% grateful for, because I’m actually extremely pleased with the end result.

I used writing as an outlet for almost everything in life. S was the only person who knew about my writing and was the only one I’d let read it, until I’d start bringing my laptop with me everywhere and continuing to write whenever I was given the chance. I’d write during class, and because I’ve been writing and typing on a computer (whether it be actual writing or talking on MSN) since I was a pre-teen, I’m actually a really fast typer. Unfortunately, fast continuous typing does not sound like note-taking in class, so I’d get called out for it all the time.

People started noticing, would ask what I was doing or what I’m writing, and I’d always lie my way out of it and would never show anyone. There was a pause for almost all of high school while I discovered myself and my independence. Interests changed and there were new life priorities at hand. Relationships came and went until I met Brian in the spring of 2011. We started dating that winter (and are happily still together today) and the writing stopped all together. I had this new chapter in my life and writing just wasn’t what I wanted to focus on anymore.

Fast forward to 2013 and I told Brian how much I used to write and how passionate I was about writing, and he said I should start. I didn’t think too much about and probably honestly said “yeah, okay…” but he’s the reason Inked Caffeine came back to life. I sometimes wonder if I would have gone back to writing on my own…maybe eventually? But I’m so glad I did when I did.

It’s an amazing creative outlet and honestly, has helped me emotionally and mentally on so many different levels. If you’ve ever considered starting to write or have something already started and have stopped, whether it be a journal, poems, short stories, or full-blown novels, all I can say is DO IT! Just do it *Nike symbol* and you won’t regret it. You can write for yourself (like I did for many years) or share what you create with others. I find both rewarding! And you don’t need to have your degree in English or writing or whatever. It’s art! Have fun with it and do what you want.

Aaaand scene! That’s me. In sum, I guess. Blogging is totally new to me and I kind of suck at following any kind of guidelines, so follow along patiently as I try my best not to write full essays. I want to make this thing authentically me, so buckle up because there’s a lot to unfold. Hopefully you’ll be able to relate to some of the things I talk about, but if not, I hope I’m entertaining enough that you’ve at least made it this far!

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