As I started my masters program, I decided that I wanted to get involved with a club that involves writing or journalism, as that was something I regretted not doing in my undergraduate career. In two months, I will be an Odyssey contributor for a year, with 52 articles. Here are the biggest lessons that I've learned from my time on the DePaul team.
1.Writer's block is real...and a pain
The hardest part of being an author? Deciding what to write about. With a mid-week deadline encroaching over and over, sometimes my ideas run dry, and I end up asking a lot of my peers what they'd like to read an article about. Other weeks, I'm inspired and write oftentimes three articles at a time. It just depends on how my week has been in terms of mental stimulation.
2. Writing is therapeutic
I've known this forever, as I've been journaling for as long as I can remember, and I'm a fan of handwritten to-do lists and reminders, but creative writing about a topic of your choice is a new experience overall. As mentioned, while the hardest part is thinking of the initial idea, the actual writing part comes quite naturally to me, and is a good way for me to unwind and relax.
3. Being a part of a team without meetings is just as important as ones with meetings.
During my entire time at DePaul, I've always been involved with a small number of clubs. While the number of clubs was always low, the commitment was high and often took up 3+ hours of my week/weekend. I'm still currently involved with two organizations on campus, including writing for the Odyssey. While doing so does not require physical meet ups, the connections I make with peer members are just as authentic as the ones I have made with peers in clubs that do require weekly meetings.
4. Basic SEO training and practice
With my time contributing to DePaul's Odyssey team, I've noticed the culture slightly change to incorporate more digital marketing tactics. As someone who has done a multitude of search and social media related internships and jobs, it's interesting to use my practical application of knowledge and apply to my articles. (Not to mention, great practice to reinforce tactics)
5. Not underestimating what you have to say
Everyone who knows me in real life knows that I'm not a quiet person, and I'm not afraid to speak my mind. When I'm inspired, Odyssey gives me an additional outlet to express myself. Originally, I was a bit conflicted as I wasn't sure that people would want to read my views, but I obviously went ahead and wrote my articles anyway. Not only is seeing the metrics of views and social media shares positive reinforcement that what I have to say matters, but I've gotten into conversations with people who have read my articles and have their own opinions to offer up.