When I started writing at Odyssey I was blown away by the number of options that I had. I could write anything. I could write in any style that I wanted. I had a global stage to share my words. I finally had a way that I could change the world. The sheer number of options available to me was both exciting and scary. I dived in and I never looked back.
As I am ending my time writing for Odyssey, I can't help but look back on my time here. I can't help but think about everything that I've learned while here. The good parts and the bad. It has all helped to shape both the person and the writer that I am today. And if there's one thing I want to leave behind it's the passion that I put behind each and every word that I wrote while on Odyssey. It might sound cliché to say but I poured my heart and soul into each and every article that I wrote on Odyssey. And from that passion came some of the most important lessons of my life.
1. Sometimes writing gets you in trouble.
And as a serious writer that is something that you just have to accept. People won't always like what you have to say, but it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you tell your story. It's your life and you've got to live it. Even though some of my articles caused trouble in my life I don't regret writing a single one of them. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
2. You always come back to what you are passionate about.
Looking back on my almost 90 articles that I wrote over the past two and a half years I see patterns emerge. I've written about Taylor Swift, feminism, and being yourself over and over and over again. And that leads me to my next point.
3. Whatever you are passionate about makes the best story.
When you are passionate about something it just shines through your writing. The best articles that I've ever written were about topics that I was passionate about. It's okay to write about the same thing over and over again when it yields the best results.
4. You never know where your article might take you.
The ninth article that I ever wrote on Odyssey was inspired by a lecture I heard in one of my classes. I didn't expect it to ever get much traction, but I wanted to write it anyway. To my surprise and immense joy, the same class that inspired the article has read my article for the past two years. I even got to go in and talk about it with students in the class just two weeks ago.
5. It's okay if nobody reads what you wrote.
This one was hard to swallow and took me a long time to learn. Nobody likes seeing that only 20 people read the article you spent hours on. We want to change the world and have thousands upon thousands of people read what we wrote. But in the end I realized it doesn't matter how many people read what I wrote. If you can impact just one person, even if that person is you, then you've done something right.