7 Takeaways From Writing For Odyssey

7 Takeaways From Writing For Odyssey

Why you should and shouldn't write for The Odyssey Online.
August
August
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I've been a creator with The Odyssey Online for about six months. I figured six months was long enough for me to see if it's right for me or not. I was really skeptical when the editor-in-chief of the chronic and mental illness section on here asked me to be a content creator. I'd heard that The Odyssey Online was a pyramid scheme (it is). I'd heard that "real writers" don't write on here. I'd heard that it was just a site for dumb people to voice their opinions. But...I said yes, and I'm glad I did.

I'd just started my blog Survival is a Talent, and I didn't know much about blogging or even writing for the internet. Most of my thoughts were kept hidden in the 20+ journals that have accumulated in my closet over the years. I knew that some people would scoff when they saw that I wrote for The Odyssey.

Some might think I was being taken advantage of. Others might think I wasn't a "real" writer. I thought it might tarnish my reputation. And it bothered me, honestly. But the people closest to me told me that it was an opportunity and I should take it. They told me that people will judge you for anything, so you might as well do what you want (they were right).

And ultimately, I told myself what I knew to be true: I am a real writer so what anyone else thinks doesn't matter. I am a real writer because I write, and I love it. No matter what I write about, how often I write, how many things I have published, how young I am, my level of education, or what websites my writing is on, I am a writer. And if you love to write, so are you.

I was a content creator on here for about six months, and these are the seven things I want to share with anyone considering writing for The Odyssey Online:

1. You meet other content creators that you can collaborate with on your own projects, whether that be videos, blogs, podcasts, etc. I have met many other people on here that have mental illnesses like I do and understand what I'm going through. The friends I made on here are worth the time I put into The Odyssey.

2. You have direct contact with an editor-in-chief who shares ideas and inspiration on what to write about, as well as encouragement and tips for getting views!

3. You get your writing out there, even if you probably won't make any actual money. And your editor might even send out incentive-based prizes (Mine gave out gift cards)!

4. You will most likely never make any actual money. You have to get an obscene amount of views to get paid. If you already have a huge online following, channeling that to get views might make it easier.

5. My managing editor was laid off, along with a lot of others, and her emails had the most useful information in them on how to get views, write good headlines, and produce good articles in general. I would have stayed as a content creator on here just to keep getting those emails with such valuable information to me as a freelance writer and blogger. When they fired her, 99% of my reason to stay at The Odyssey was gone. And it gave me a bad feeling about the company as a whole.

6. I was a content creator for the chronic & mental illness section. I don't think this is a very popular section on the website. I rarely see my community's articles trending, and I frequently wanted to write on other topics, but they didn't fit in with chronic and mental illness. If you decide to be a content creator, pick the right community.

7. I have pieces up on several websites, and The Odyssey rarely drove traffic to my blog. The Mighty , Niume, and Thought Catalog are just a few websites that sent plenty of traffic to my blog. I usually included a link to my blog at the bottom of most of my posts, but only saw The Odyssey as a referrer to my blog once or twice. Ultimately, I decided it was no longer worth it to post any content on here when I could be focusing more on my blog, and writing for other blogs or websites that actually pay or drive traffic to it, such as Niume and PuckerMob.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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I Am The Girl Who Always Gets What She Wants, And I’m Not Ashamed Of It

I will NEVER just "go with the flow."

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Ever since I was very, very young, my parents have taught me to fight for what I want. This doesn't mean that they spoiled me or that they caved whenever I threw a temper tantrum. I'm also not saying that they taught me not to take no for an answer, because everyone's entitled to their own opinions and points of views, and saying no is perfectly understandable in any circumstance. What I am saying is that they've always wanted me to take my future in my hands, mold it to whatever it is that I want it to look like, and work hard to get to where I want to go.

When I was eleven years old, I watched a documentary called "The Secret" with my dad for the first time. "The Secret" is a book, later turned into a documentary, which basically teaches you how to use the law of attraction. Simply put, the law of attraction is the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on. My dad told me he'd read the book before, and that he thought I was ready to learn how to use the law of attraction for my own good, even though I'd technically been using it for my entire life without even being aware of it. It's important to note that, when people first learn about the law of attraction, they tend to be pretty skeptical about it. Surprisingly, I wasn't skeptical at all, considering I'd always looked up to Walt Disney and his stories about magic.

At first, I used the law of attraction for things that might seem very small now, but back then I was so very excited to see that whatever I was doing was working in my favor. Whenever I really wanted something, like a light pink Nintendo DS, I would put it up on my vision board, I would visualize myself playing with it, and I would truly believe that I would get it, and so I did. Some people teased me for it, saying that I only got those things because my parents wanted me to believe in the law of attraction, and so they just bought me whatever it was that I wanted at the moment. But then it started turning into something way more powerful.

When I was seventeen, my family and I were planning to go to Disney World for Spring Break, and I really wanted my best friend to come with us. At first, it seemed like an impossible task, considering the fact that her mom had never even let her go on a weekend getaway with anyone, let alone fly to another country. I introduced my best friend to the law of attraction, and we both truly believed that she would come. She ended up coming on the trip with us, and to this day, we're still shocked about the fact that her mother caved and let her tag along.

As I've grown older, the law of attraction has always played a very important part in my thought process, and how I handle and react to things. When I was eighteen, I was able to gather all the strength I needed to break away from a very toxic relationship, and then I found a man who just casually happens to have every single thing I always thought my dream guy should have.

In January of last year, I decided that I would be applying for the Disney International College Program. It was truly fitting, considering the fact that Disney has always been one of my biggest passions in life, and also that I had been to Disney World countless times before. I felt truly prepared to take on this adventure, and so I started preparing my application. Nevertheless, the dates got mixed up, and my school advisor told me it was too late for me to send in my application. But I knew deep in my heart that I was going to move to Orlando. Two days after that, just like magic, my advisor told me that she could still let me apply if I sent in my application as quickly as possible. We all know what happened after that, considering I'm writing this from my apartment in Orlando.

All that magic comes with a price though, and lots of people have recently tried to undermine me. Some people, I guess, are just like black holes. They hate shiny things, and they go around trying to suck everyone else's light to fill up the void inside of them, but my fire is too strong, and therefore, it's impossible to put out. Some people just can't take how much I've accomplished, the things I've seen, the things I've done, the stuff I have, and the dreams I dream.

I've decided to stand my ground and let it be known, once and for all, that no matter what happens, I will always continue to fight and work for whatever it is that I want, no matter how big, small, unreachable or pointless it may seem to other people. What I want is what I get, and if someone doesn't like that about me, then that's their own problem to deal with, not mine. My life, my future, and my destiny are MINE to sculpt, and I will NEVER just "go with the flow."

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