My Goodbye To Odyssey
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My Goodbye To Odyssey

It's time for us to go our separate ways.

My Goodbye To Odyssey

I started writing for Odyssey in early September 2016. My friend had started writing for them a month or so earlier and recommended me to her editor. I was completely thrilled to get a call from her asking if I would be interested in coming on board as a Content Creator. I was also incredibly flattered that my friend, Ella, had thought of me at all, that she knew how much I loved writing and believed in my skills enough to recommend me with confidence. I had been having a pretty rough summer after moving to a brand new place and not really knowing anyone. I struggled to make close relationships in town and spent most of my time alone or working until I started bonding with people in the swing community, but this incredible opportunity sent me over the moon.

Then I sat down to write my first article. And I stared at my screen for two hours. I had absolutely no idea what to write about. I finally settled on writing about learning styles since a lot of people my age (including myself) had no idea how best to study for them. And then this very week in Psychology 101, my professor told us that there was actually no research or evidence supporting that people have different, personalized learning styles. (If you're curious about how best to study, focus on the best way to learn that particular material. One study method will not work for everything, but it has nothing to do with the individual person.) But I digress.

I really struggled to write an article every week. It's a lot more than you expect it to be, especially when you don't have any ideas! There were some weeks when I had a fantastic topic in mind and could write something really great that I was genuinely passionate about... And then there were weeks when I was so out of ideas that I ended up doing a listicle. You may not know this, but I despise listicles. It feels like writing click-bait and lazy. Sure, they can be cute sometimes; my "17 Silly Doggos To Get You Through Your Day" article got lots of love because it was adorable, but writing it was completely soul-sucking. It was not how I wanted to be perceived as a writer. There was a distinct difference between the articles I was truly excited to write and the ones that took me several hours to force myself through.

There are few things that made me feel as proud as when one of my articles got over 400 views, over 200 shares, and I had the top article for that week. Previously, I had been really questioning if I should even be writing for the Odyssey because I was struggling so much, but suddenly I had so much renewed faith in myself. I felt so proud of my work and I was so happy that people were reading it, and not only that people were getting something important out of it, but that my message had an impact on people. I still feel immense pride and joy when people reach out to me personally and tell me how much they appreciated an article.

However, there have been drawbacks to writing for Odyssey. As I take on more responsibilities within the swing community and work and school, I am realizing that I do not have the time to dedicate myself to Odyssey anymore. My articles don't feel as if I've gone deep enough into the subjects I am writing about and I consistently struggle to find time throughout the week to sit down for a couple hours and write. It's even harder on the weeks that I don't have a topic. Secondly, and almost as important, since I have started writing for Odyssey, I have stopped writing creatively in my free time. I find my inspiration for poems or stories lacking. I had, and still have, dreams of being a published author someday, but right now, forcing myself to write once a week is stealing my motivation to do it in my free time. I want to love and be passionate about writing for fun again.

I have realized recently that just because I might not continue writing for Odyssey does not necessarily mean that I won't have a voice anymore. Having a designated platform to voice my thoughts and feelings on helped me feel like I had a voice and more power to make people listen to me. But I do not have to rely on Odyssey for that. There are other places that I can make my voice heard. I can still write about things I feel strongly about and share them with the world. Odyssey has been great for helping me feel confident about my writing, but it is time for me to move on to other things and to give them everything I've got.

I highly recommend applying to write for Odyssey. It looks great on a resume and it's a wonderful way to build confidence and start getting your voice out there. I will always be thankful to Odyssey for this opportunity.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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