Why I Decided To Write

Why I Decided To Write

It is more than just words on a page.
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Ever since I started writing for the Odyssey, I was asked “why” so often. I was asked how much I get paid, as though they were expecting me to make a ridiculous amount of money. Yes, the creators do get a small amount of money based on the amount of views they receive on their articles. Still, that is not why I joined Odyssey.

I am new to Odyssey, only having published a handful of articles in the past two months of writing. Before Odyssey, I had a lot going on in my personal life, a lot of things that I could not control. Often times, I felt really lonely, even when I was surrounded by all of my friends. I felt like I was never heard, as though I could scream my loudest and still not be heard.

I grew tired of having so much to say and keeping it bottled in. I started writing whenever I had to get something off of my chest. When I was done, I would feel so relieved, as though writing it all down was just what I needed. Even though the person I actually wanted to say these things to had no idea what I wrote, I still felt better. Like all I needed to do was let it all out somehow, even if it just floated in cyber space untouched.

After a while, I wanted my thoughts to extend further than my own hard drive on my laptop. I started to get interested in writing for Odyssey. I enjoyed reading others’ articles, scrolling through Facebook and stumble upon a new little treasure each day. It was as though articles were a new form of communication. Siblings tag each other in links that explain what it was like growing up with each other. Another person would read an article that they feel sums up their break-up and share it for everyone to see, because their broken heart just cannot find the right words. Friends send each other links to articles that they feel describe their friendship perfectly, or their obsession with that Netflix show.

It was comforting to read articles where others had the same view point. It made me feel a little more sane, as though I was not the only one. Some articles gave me another way of looking at things; opening a new window for me to view a situation.

When I posted my first article, I was so eager to keep track of how many views it got, always checking the numbers online. My first article received 1,227 views; 1,227 people read something that I wrote. Of those people, many shared my article, passing it along to others. My words impacted people enough to where they shared it with their friends and family.

After posting another article, an old friend had read it and told me how much he enjoyed my article. He told me how he was going through a time in his life where he needed to make a decision. He said that my article helped him with his decision. I helped someone move forward in life. I gave someone a new perspective on their situation. His reaction to my article was the exact reason why I wanted to write. The feeling I got after knowing how my article had a positive impact on someone’s life made me feel something I never felt before.

I write because others have inspired me to do so, because sometimes I do want to be heard, even if just by one person. I want others to read my articles so they know they are not the only ones that feel this way or going through this situation. I want to open windows for people so they can see their situation in a new position and from a different angle.

I write because it makes me happy. I write because it is something I love to do. I write to help others feel less lonely. I write so I can open windows, one by one. I write so I can be heard.

Cover Image Credit: I still Shoot Film

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12 Things Only Low Maintenance Girls Understand

I promise we aren’t lazy, just easy going.
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Sometimes low maintenance girls are looked at as lazy or sloppy. But in reality, I think low maintenance girls are just so confident in who they are that putting in that extra effort isn't important to them.

Here are 12 things that only low maintenance girls understand:

1. Leggings or sweat pants and a t-shirt is your normal everyday outfit

Why spend the day uncomfortable in some tight jeans or mini skirt when you can lounge around in some comfy clothes. We aren’t here to impress anyone, we are just trying to sit back and chill.

2. Makeup is a special occasion

If you catch a low maintenance girl with makeup on, take it as a compliment. We are trying to touch our face and rub our eyes as much as we'd like without makeup getting in the way. Not to mention, we wouldn’t dare spend over $15 on some foundation.

3. We would rather stay in with a movie then go out for the evening

Something low-key and low stress always sounds better than spending the time, and the money, for a night out. I am perfectly content with taking advantage of my $7.99 monthly payment for Netflix.

4. You’re always the first one ready

While your friends spend hours doing their hair, makeup and then finding the perfect outfit, you sit around and wait. Your 10 minutes thrown-together-look gives you time to nap while everyone else takes their sweet time.

5. When you say you "don’t care what we do," you really don’t care

Seriously, a date night off the McDonald’s dollar menu is fine by me. I am not expecting you to wine and dine me on a big extravagant evening, I’m just trying to get a Big Mac in my mouth.

6. Your messy bun isn’t a fashion statement, it’s actually just your hairstyle

We aren’t about to spend time curling or straightening our hair everyday. Every day is a good day to throw your hair up into a ponytail or bun.

7. The extent of your jewelry collection is one pair of earrings and maybe a necklace

Who needs more than one pair of earrings? Diamond studs match everything…right?

8. And your shoe collection is even smaller

Should I wear flip flops or converse?

9. Shopping isn’t exactly your favorite thing to do

Who has patience for finding the perfect designer brands or finding the best fit? I am perfectly content with my t-shirts and leggings. One size fits all.

10. Your favorite gifts are the sentimental ones, not the expensive ones

A homemade card or a small gift that makes someone think of you is forever better and more meaningful than an expensive present. I don’t want your money, I just want to know you thought of me

11. You don't put in the effort to chase after a guy

I'm awesome and I know it. If a guy is worth it enough to be in my life, he can come after me. I am not down for any games or players. Just someone who embraces my low maintenance qualities.

12. You are always the first person to help someone out

Giving your friends a ride or lending them two dollars isn't a huge deal. Just helping someone out gives you peace of mind. Everyone should have time to help a homie out.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.cosboots.com/sale/christmas/christmas.html

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To Love a Broken Vase — An Ode To Valentine's Day

"To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides." --David Viscott, How to Live with Another Person, 1974

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I remember an anecdote my elementary school teacher told us in the fifth grade. When a mother is pregnant with a child, they feel comfortable in their flesh. Provided with everything they needed to survive, they don't have to worry about anything. It's not until after they are born and the umbilical chord is severed that they realized they were not good enough, and insecurities fester.

I went through a similar process when I was growing up. Contained within my family and books, I felt like I held the world in my hands. It was not until high school where I seriously sought out others for company and wanted to apply myself to the social universe. And I saw myself changing in not only my behaviors, but how I see myself within the world.

With working hard to get good grades, with trying to get my driver's license, and becoming a better person overall, I realized the process involved a lot more effort than I ever had expected. And I found myself unprepared for the slow drudgery of it all. While I once pushed through to get things done, now I find myself giving up on projects while coming up with new ones. I frequently turned to my laptop for solace, as it kept my fantasies alive, but it also stole time away from me.

These behaviors showed in my relationships: I found it hard to meet up with friends, and my parents started worrying about what would my future look like. With the latter, I've had multiple conflicts with them, with me asserting I wanted to be free from everything, including accountability. Of course, that perception was quite unrealistic — to love and be loved, as well as to succeed, there has to a tug to know when you're doing something wrong.

***

A year ago, I wrote an article about how I saw romantic love from somebody who has never been in a relationship. Many things still apply today — I'm better off working towards my educational and career goals than seeking out love, though with Valentine's Day, it still fascinates me on whether or not I could be loved from somebody else.

From what I've heard from others, they would be charmed by my intelligence and kindness, neither fulfilling the stereotype of a nerd nor the perfect angel. However, the naivete would also put someone off, and potentially puts them in danger. I also see myself as the spontaneous type, but to the point where I forget where my priorities are, again making them worse than they really are. I imagine they would be intrigued by me as a friend or a lover, but end up breaking away after a short amount of time.

I don't imagine finding myself loving other people in the short term; however, I find myself open towards others. And that what makes me more afraid about how people view me--will they not be able to see the positives in myself when the time comes? Will they be just as capable of forgiving me the same way my family does?

At the end, I should take my friend's advice for Valentine's Day — love oneself. And take actions to make sure that I can love myself deeper and further.

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