Hello internet world!
It's almost a month since I've posted an article, and I do apologize for my absence, I've missed you so much! I've been on a study abroad trip to Costa Rica, and am currently stuck in Ft. Lauderdale after there was miscommunication about my flight departure time (thanks JetBlue)! But now that I'm back on stable WiFi, I'm back and I'm not going anywhere!
Now that we have the tearful reunion out of the way, it's article time! Whilst traveling the beautiful country that is Costa Rica, I was thinking about it, and I realized that my one year anniversary with Odyssey passed on June 15th! A year ago, my president Christine took a chance on me, and I am so glad she did! This community has brought me some of my best friends, has challenged me both intellectually and creatively, and has made me fall in love with writing again! As a one year creator, I thought it was important to share what I've learned with the new wave of people who are coming into the community.
First thing, THIS IS NOT EASY. If you're going to apply to be a creator thinking that it will be an easy resume builder, you have another thing coming my friend! You have a weekly deadline that must be followed, this means you need to come up with something new each week! Now I am in NO position to be lecturing about following deadlines, I have not been the best at meeting deadlines, as I am typing this article, I'm in an airport hoping I meet the deadline with the time difference! This job is not easy, it will challenge you, but I promise you that it is worth it! Which brings me to my second point...
BE CREATIVE! When I first started, all of my friends used to joke about the "Open Letter" articles that would constantly get posted on the website. And while these articles are good and sentimental, people get bored of them easily. If these articles are meaningful to you and help articulate your feelings, more power to you, however, I encourage you to branch out, write about something unique and interesting! Offer a different perspective, write about different cleansing tea combinations, or even write about the time you went parasailing with a goat named Frank (if anyone has a story like that, salute to you!). My point is, don't do what everyone else does. Write what matters to you and what you believe, the beauty of Odyssey is that you have a platform to produce what ever content you want! This leads me to my third and final point, which is...
HAVE FUN WITH IT! We're not getting paid for this, so enjoy yourself! Don't worry about page views either, I know this may be shocking but hear me out. When I first started, I was basing my topics of writing based off "what would be popular". What I found tho was that this was constricting my writing process, and I wasn't producing quality content. If you have a well written article, the views will come, I promise. I have written articles that I thought would blow up that have less than 100 views, and I have articles with thousands of views that I just wrote to get my feelings out. My point is that your QUALITY of your product is more important than the QUANTITY of the views it gets.
The past 370 days since I joined Odyssey have not been easy, I have struggled with relationships, school, and my own mental health. But the one thing that remained a constant was this website, and the outlet it gave me to express myself. If you are looking for a place to grow professionally and intellectually, come on and join Odyssey! You'll be surprised where it takes you!
Stay true to yourselves my guys, gals, and non-binary pals! (Shoutout to Thomas Sanders for the killer catchphrase!)