From my blog archives with a few edits, THIS IS WHY I BLOG originally posted on August 26, 2016.
I will be the first to admit that I grew up extremely nerdy & absolutely LOVED school! Every morning, I woke up eager to learn, & I couldn’t get enough. I still remember days I’d cry because I was forced to stay home because I was too sick. I was so proud of having perfect attendance, & I didn’t realize there was even the option to not do your homework until I was in high school. At one point, I even asked my parents to enroll me in summer school programs. Even when I was already excelling beyond my grade level, I wanted to attend school all year round. I still highly value education and do my best to continue to learn in every aspect of my life. Hopefully this gives you enough background to where my story begins.
When I was 11 years old, I taught myself HTML. (Yes, you read that correctly. I taught myself HTML when I was 11 years old.) While other typical 6th grade girls were concerned about their acne, braces, & getting their crush to notice them, I created my first website.
My first website was called “Neecie’s Mystic Universe”. (I know right? My eleven year old self was IN LOVE with that one! LOL) The layout was simple, & the font was adorable & rainbow colored. My content included a lengthy biography describing myself (hair color, eye color, my likes & dislikes, etc.), random fictional stories & poems I had written. I also made these digital dolls (pictured below) that I would create and/or customize by request.
It was hosted by angelfire.com (now angelfire.lycos.com apparently?). And despite the constant, annoying pop up ads, I was so proud of it & myself! I completely wrote the HTML code. The website design & content was created & shared by me. Not many eleven year olds at the time could say that. I eagerly logged on every day to see numbers on my guest counter go up & check for any new entries in my guest book.
Keep in mind, at this time, my parents limited my computer usage. (As any good parent should with all the technology preventing kids from playing outside nowadays!) I only had 2 hour blocks of time on the computer, according to a schedule that my dad had created. I’d beg my siblings to give me their computer time slots. My younger brother always gave up his time willingly as he never wanted to use it anyway, but my older sister often said no just to spite me. (Mind you, she wouldn’t even use her time on the computer. She just didn’t want to let me have hers! Older sisters… So mean!)
Silly Little Girl
The summer before I started high school, I decided my website needed an upgrade. It had to grow and change, just as I was transitioning into a new school. This is when “Neecie’s Mystic Universe” evolved into “Silly Little Girl”.
Also, around this time, I received an offer to be “hosted” by the owner of “iwontbeignored.net“. I forget her actual name, but she was a bit edgy & was obviously obsessed with the band, Linkin Park. The only thing that mattered to me at the time was that she saw potential in me and my website. She wanted to give me free web space under her domain, and thus, I was officially pop-up ad free at “sillylittlegirl.iwontbeignored.net“.
As my focus turned to prepping for the SATs & applying to colleges in my Junior & Senior year of high school. Silly Little Girl began to be more & more neglected. I also became more active in Dance, Cheerleading, Drama, & other clubs. Updates became few & far in between, until my host forced me to relinquish my domain space due to inactivity. In the years following, I focused majority of my creativity into Dance. I didn’t focus on coding or writing again until my first semester in college.
One of my 1st memories in college was my first & last day in Writing 101. After brief introductions, I wrote a brief in-class essay. I was the first to finish. And in the time it took me to walk back to my dorm room, my professor had emailed me to inform me that he was moving me into the more advanced Writing 10 class instead.
I was ecstatic to be writing again. Even after getting my writing prerequisites for my major, I still took creative writing classes just for fun. I’ve always valued any way I could express my creativity. With so many thoughts constantly floating around in my head at any given moment, I have an irrational need to express myself in any way that I can.
Denise Joyce > MorganFreeman7
Most of you know the story behind my psuedonym “MorganFreeman7”. For those of you who don’t, when I initially launched my YouTube channel, I wanted a way to explore YouTube realm while remaining anonymous. This way, in the case that my videos & channel became a complete disaster, I could delete it without being embarrassed or anyone knowing. On the flip side, I fell in love with creating new video content & as my channel continued to grow, I decided to re-brand. MorganFreeman7 is a mask I hid behind. I wanted to be ME! And I wanted my audience to know the real me as well.
I initially started this blog on June 8th in 2011, as a supplement to my YouTube channel, whenever I got too busy to film. It’s meant to be a place for me to connect with you all. If I wasn’t uploading videos, I was usually blogging & vice versa. Eventually, I revamped my blog & created the layout & logo you see now. I want to grow my personal empire as ME! I want you all to think of “Denise”, not Morgan Freeman when you view or interact with my content.
Self-expression is a powerful tool, & I think it’s the most effective when you’re truly expressing who you are. MorganFreeman7 was a mask that represented my fear, my hesitation, & my self-doubt. This blog & me choosing to re-vamp, re-launch, & re-introduce myself proudly & fearlessly as Denise Joyce is the most important part of my story.