I Want To Quit Odyssey
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I Want To Quit Odyssey

...and why I haven't

I Want To Quit Odyssey
Kelsey K Wong

I don’t get paid. I don’t get class credit. It’s not what I intend to pursue as a career. It’s stressful.

Game theorists worldwide are probably tearing their hair out right now, trying to figure out why I still want to be a part of the Odyssey team despite this.

Three months ago, I felt the creative draught of the past year start to creep up on me. I hadn’t felt the itch of my fingers, insistent on pen and paper, in a long time. Even when I did write, it felt forced. There was no focus in the writing, nothing new said. Somehow, it just wasn’t going anywhere. So when an Odyssey community was opened up to me, I thought, “Great! Maybe this is what I need, some sort of regular deadline and external pressure to keep me pushing.”

The expectations were simple enough. Turn in an article every week. Year round. The content was up to you; op-ed’s, video, creative writing, listicles.

I knew it would be a lot. In the first place, I’m not very good with deadlines. In the past 5 years of school assignments, I have procrastinated every single one. This seemed like an obvious spike in stress potential. But instead of worrying before I even started, I just said yes and went along with it.

So where do I find myself now?

It worked. I’ve got the ball rolling on my personal creative work. A dozen or so drafts floating around various Google Drives and desktop spaces, waiting for the right ending, or the right perspective, or just a little bit more attention. Some have come out of small ideas that never made it to full-fledged articlehood. Others have come out as extensions to ideas in certain articles. Either way, unfinished work is better than no work.

But for a few weeks now, I’ve also seriously entertained the idea of quitting Odyssey. The bare-boned truth is that most days I couldn’t care less about it. I don’t look forward to Fridays, because Fridays mean I have an article due and I’m stressing out because I haven’t written anything. I keep having to set aside time to write, when I’d rather be out having fun. I don’t know if anyone even reads these. I don’t know if it matters. I’m sure the stress has affected the work. If some have felt like just another copy of a copy of a copy of a once good article idea, it probably was. I’m sure it has affected my editors as well, who have to deal consistent late work.

And still, and still, and still yet again, every week I find my legs strapped onto an operating table, gasping my way through another difficult birth. And choosing to.

I’ve stumbled across some new wisdom recently. My attitude towards writing is my attitude towards any relationship in my life. Somebody once taught me a lesson about sticking through the dark times until you see the light again.

I figure the day will come when I will eventually outgrow Odyssey. But as long as it continues to make me struggle, challenge my writing question the worth of my words; as long as I have any doubt in my mind whether I’m cut out for writing, then there is still much I can learn from this.

Sometimes we inhibit ourselves because we are unsure if we will have time to finish something once we start. So we never start. Why dive into a hundred hours of a project without any assurance that it will be turn out well?

If I’ve learned anything about writing, and any sort of creative pursuit in general, it is to not fear the work that needs to go into it. All that work, regardless of the end, none of it is wasted. Everything is experiment. There will never be “The Piece,” there will only ever be the process. This is the root of art-making. It’s not something I understood until recently, and it’s what I will continue to strive for.
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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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