I've Officially Been Writing For Odyssey For Almost A Year Now, And It Has Truly Been An Amazing Experience

I've Officially Been Writing For Odyssey For Almost A Year Now, And It Has Truly Been An Amazing Experience

A simple weekly commitment can go a long way.

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Thinking back on the first article I ever wrote for Odyssey, I can truly say that it has been an amazing experience. Not only have I grown in my writing but also who I am as a writer and a person.

I started writing for Odyssey in October of last year (my first article went live on the 8th) and have been doing it almost every week since. One of the things I love about writing is the ability to write about anything I want and to improve my writing skills through it.

Before I began writing for Odyssey, the only other writing experience I had was maybe a few school essays here and there. None of which (for obvious reasons) were ever published.

I decided to start writing for Odyssey when I saw an article that a friend of mine wrote and I'm so glad I did. I originally wanted to write for Odyssey because I am a journalism major and thought it would give me some idea of what being a journalist is like. It also has given me a chance to build up some published works to show to a future employer, by giving them examples of what to expect.

I have always had an interest in writing, but this past year has taught me that it is more than just an interest, it is something I thoroughly enjoy doing. It has given me experience on publishing my own writings and taught me a bit more about how to do research.

I've also discovered that writing is, in many ways, therapeutic and relaxing (at least for me). Writing for Odyssey has pushed me to be more creative. It has taught me that there is always something to write about even if I just haven't found it yet.

I've never missed a deadline, and I get to write about whatever I want every single week (honestly one of the best things about it).

I've been told by many people that they like what I write (and even look forward to it) and that has encouraged me to keep writing and let my voice be heard.

I've learned so much this past year about myself and about writing, in general. I've written about everything and anything from my background in dance and ballet, my heart issue, relationships, and even a few environmental ones. I've learned how to write good and compelling listicles.

I've been given a chance to have my voice heard on different topics and issues and even put some of my own personal stories out there). As a writer, you get a lot of freedom in the style of writing as it can be opinion, a listicle, news, etc (or any other topic you want). This is one of the things I LOVE about Odyssey.

I can't wait to see what the next year and beyond has in store. It has truly been an amazing experience. At the beginning of this, I didn't expect to feel the way about it that I do now.

Odyssey is a great outlet for anyone who is looking for a place to express beliefs or opinions about whatever topic they desire. I have really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try out or audition to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

At a basketball tryout, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential castmember will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little payoff for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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Writer's Block: A Road Block We've All Hit

In the corner, the deer head is mocking you.

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It's two hours before your deadline and everything you start to type sounds terrible. You get five words into a sentence and you immediately hit the backspace button or throw your notebook across the room.

You think you have something solid and then you read it out loud and it's worse than you originally thought possible. Nothing sounds right to you and the clock is ticking. Minutes pass, but you can't seem to find anything that works.


You look all around the room for inspiration. In the corner, the deer head is mocking you and in the other corner, the hole in the ceiling is just reminding you of how empty your brain feels at the moment. Nothing is coming to you and it's no longer silent because your brother is upstairs singing in the shower and your sister is listening to music as she falls asleep.

Another half-hour has passed and you're drenched in sweat. Your pen is slipping out of your hand and you are stressing. Your fingers are sliding across the keys and not in the cool confident way. Your eyes are burning from the sweat droplets on the corners of your eyes.

It's writer's block and we've all been there.

In fact, right before I began this, I was experiencing it myself. I tried moving to different rooms in the house, asking three different people for ideas and listening/watching multiple platforms: acoustic music, sports, Amazon Prime TV, etc. Nothing was working and I was sure that I was going to miss my deadline and have nothing to turn in.

I honestly thought I was going to end up in a ball of tears.


However, I turned my problem into my solution and wrote down everything I was feeling.

Now, this may not always work, especially if you're writing something for school on the War of 1812 or Abraham Lincoln. One thing that will work is taking a deep breath. Write whatever comes to your mind and don't delete it, even if you think it's absolutely terrible. Some of my best writing has come from what I thought was terrible.

But most importantly, remember: Writer's block is real, but it's also overcomeable and you've probably dealt with it more than you realize.

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