This Saturday I graduated from George Fox University. I officially have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and am officially done with my undergraduate education.
That also means this is my last article for the Odyssey.
Since September 2018, I've been writing an article every week (with a few exceptions). My goal for this year was to become more comfortable with my own writing style, and challenge myself to let the ideas in my head be shared for other people to see. I remember being somewhat uncomfortable with the idea; I've never been interested in any sort of blogging or journalism, despite the fact that I do enjoy writing.
Regardless of my discomfort, here we are 8 months later and I have a myriad of articles (good and bad) to my name.
First of all, I want to express my respect for real, live writers in the world. It took me about three articles before I had no good ideas left to write about. I will be the first to admit that in my Odyssey career I have written some meaningless articles just because the deadline was approaching and I needed to have something. However, I have learned that even writing lousy content can be good for you.
I used to think that writer's block was an impassable force. Now I realize that ideas flow like water: if you can get a small trickle through, that small amount might start to wear down a bigger path for bigger ideas to fill.
I was also incredibly surprised by the people who chose to interact with and respond to my articles. Every week I would expect my articles to get lost in the Facebook logarithm and end up unseen; every week I would be surprised by a comment or share from someone who noticed. I realized that I started this process hiding behind false humility; I would tell myself my articles were bad, because I considered it prideful to think I was a good writer.
While I still prefer to be self-deprecatory, I have had to learn that it is okay to write something other people enjoy, and also okay to enjoy my own writing. I may not ever become a ~published~ writer, but I can be proud of what I have to say.
That said, here's a list of the articles I've written that I'm most proud of. You may have seen one or two of them, and if you like my style and approach these others may also interest you.
Three Part Series on Relationship Building:
1. Be A Better Listener
2. Death by Achievement: How Routine Ruins Relationships
3. Security Through Boundaries: Setting Limits in Relationships
You Are What You Value
Black History Month and the Process of Racial Healing
I See Her Everywhere
Although I have enjoyed this process of writing every week, I do not intend to continue. I will be pursuing my masters in Social Work this fall and will be sufficiently busy with all that will entail. However, I also believe in the importance of seasons. This year was a season of scheduled writing and sharing my ideas with others. I feel a new season coming on, one of writing for self-reflection and contemplation.
While I have enjoyed writing for the Odyssey and learning from the amazing team of writers and editors here at Fox, I also recognize that I sacrificed a lot of my independent writing time in the process.
I used to use writing as a time to process my thoughts and feelings, developing a cohesive narrative of my inner life and daily experiences. This is one of the things that makes writing so valuable for me. I am looking forward to using this summer as a time to write out my thoughts and reestablish my habit of journaling as a spiritual discipline.
If you are someone who enjoys reading these articles, I encourage you to trying writing for yourself. Writing out your thoughts (not your activities or tasks) is a great way to learn how to listen to yourself. I know there's never enough time to justify writing just for fun, but it truly does help you jump out of the daily rush and really think about the choices you make.