Earlier this month, I don't know if it was my stress levels or what, but I contemplated leaving Odyssey as a whole. After releasing my "9 Websites That Will Throw You Back To 2008" article, it barely got any page views. After realizing this, I found out that after every article I wrote, the page views got lower and lower and lower, until they were barely hitting 40.
At the time of writing this, that article got 36 views, and the only successful article I've written to date is "6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Coming To College In Philly" which got over 320 views. That also happened to be the first article I ever put out. After coming to that realization I thought, "Why am I even a part of Odyssey if no one seems to care about what I'm writing?"
That thought led to a spiraling breakdown. I've been told that I was a good writer ever since elementary school when I got awarded for a personal narrative I wrote. Ever since I got the acknowledgment, I started to think that I was good at writing, so I started to pursue it more. In middle school, I went above and beyond on narratives and essays in English class. I continued to do this in high school as well, but I started to take more classes focused on writing, such as journalism and creative writing.
Once I came to college, the thought of me being a good writer started to diminish, until I started creative writing again. I started writing up listicles and different articles and would show them to my roommate. In the second semester of my freshman year, I found out about Odyssey and decided to let my "talent" shine through.
After my first article was released, I was ecstatic. The page view count was skyrocketing up to over 300. People that I didn't even talk to from high school shared my article with their friends. I thought that all of the articles I would write would do the same, and everyone would enjoy them. After I released my second article, I realized I was wrong.
My second article didn't do very well with views; it got under 40. At that time, I figured that I would have other articles that might do well. I was wrong about that too. While I have had one article exceed 100 views since then, I did notice that the view count started to go below that, then below 90, below 70, and now, below 50 and 40.
I began to have consistent thoughts in my head like, "I'm not a good writer," "I don't even know why I'm writing for Odyssey if no one likes what I'm putting out," and even as far as "Do people not read what I put out because they don't like me or care about what I do?"
I began to spiral for a whole week over not being a good enough writer and bouncing back and forth between whether or not I should quit. I talked to the people in Odyssey about how I was feeling about it, along with some of my other friends. They all told me the same thing:
"You joined Odyssey because you love to write. You said you've always loved to write. Don't let the number of views bring your self-confidence down about your skills. Numbers don't define who you are. Do what you love to do most."
After hearing so many people telling me this, I started to think. I do love writing. I've always loved writing. I shouldn't care about the numbers that come up. Most articles that do go viral either have clickbait titles or are very controversial.
If I'm not a fan of writing about controversial issues, it's not a problem. I chose to write for Odyssey in the first place because I love to write and I want to be able to have a voice and write what's on my mind. Everything that I've written has been topics that I'm interested in. It doesn't matter if anyone else is interested in them. I have this platform to show my voice, and that's exactly what I'm going to continue doing.