When it comes to writing, sometimes the best thing to do is just start, right?
For Tatyannah King, and over 128,000 other creators, Odyssey has been that spot for them to not only start, but to grow and thrive. Today, Tatyannah — a former creator for our dating and relationships vertical, Swoon — credits Odyssey for much of her success so far and helping her achieve her dream career as an advice columnist for Sexpert.com and future sex therapist.
I had the pleasure of chatting with her to get the full scoop on her Odyssey creator journey from when it all began to where she is now. Read the full interview below to learn exactly how she leveraged her voice on Odyssey and her advice to others on how to do the same.
Q. When did you begin writing for Odyssey?
"I started writing for the Odyssey a little more than two years ago, on June 12, 2018, to be exact. Right before I published my first article through the Odyssey, my exact words were 'Nobody's gonna read this stuff anyway. Might as well go for it.' And boy, was I wrong. Week by week I got more views and engagement to the point where a former editor for Swoon reached out to me via email and asked if I wanted to join their editorial team to write specifically about sex, dating, and relationships."
Q. What was your favorite part or parts about writing for Odyssey?
"My favorite part about writing for Odyssey was knowing how influential and inviting the platform is. At Odyssey, everyone has a voice whether you're a seasoned writer or a beginner. When your articles get shared on their official social media accounts, your writing gets seen by masses of people, so it encourages people to utilize their platform to the fullest."
Q. Can you share a few Odyssey articles you're most proud of writing?
"I am most proud of this article I wrote last year in collaboration with the world's most famous sex expert, Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Growing up, I didn't have many role models in the field of human sexuality because it's not as mainstream of a career yet. However, being able to interview her over the phone was mind-blowing for me, and I will always remember the advice she gave to me about how millennial couples can foster long-lasting relationships amid a time where it sometimes seems like old-fashioned courting has gone out of style.
I'm also really proud of the reviews and gift guides I've written featuring the most popular sex toys in the sex tech industry, seeing as those have been one of the most highly requested articles by both singles and couples. I enjoy giving suggestions to others no matter if they're new to experimenting with sex toys or they have an entire drawer full of vibrators in their room."
Q. Did you write for other verticals/outlets besides Swoon?
"For the first six months that I wrote for Swoon, that was the only vertical [on Odyssey] I wrote for. Then I started to consistently write for tabú, a modern-day digital community, and platform that advocates sexual and mental health."
Q. You just got a fabulous new job, congrats! Tell us about it!
"I recently launched my sex advice column called 'Sex Talk With Taty' on Sexpert.com, America's leading sex education website for adults. My advice column is a safe space for people to anonymously ask spicy questions of any kind, from, 'What are your suggestions for best sex parties?' to serious dilemmas like, 'I was chatting continuously for months with someone I matched with on Tinder only to be ghosted days before our first date. What should I do now?'"
Q. Do you feel Odyssey helped prepare you for your current job and other roles you've held? If so, how?
"At the risk of sounding cliche, Odyssey has not only helped me prepare for my current job, but it's changed my entire life. Every bit of success that has happened to me within the past two years has been a direct domino effect of my time spent as a contributor to Swoon and Odyssey at large. Writing for Odyssey has developed my editing and organization skills as well as my personal growth. At first, I was shy about writing for such a large publication especially because my writing centers on sex and dating. Now I'm not afraid to really go there with my audience."
Q. Besides Odyssey, you have written for many other publications, what would your advice be for anyone who is trying to do the same/wanting to build their writing portfolio?
"I've written my own articles and been featured as a sexpert in various print and digital publications like Forbes, Cosmopolitan, xoNecole, BUSTLE, HelloGiggles, Well + Good, Ireland's Business Post Magazine, The Irish Independent, and more. I have three pieces of advice to those who are trying to build their writing portfolio. For starters, put your heart and soul into one primary writing gig. By putting your effort into one publication, it'll assure that you spent enough time to craft your writing skills, find your niche and your voice. Then by the time other editors begin to notice, they will have already seen how much dedication you've put into it. Second, don't be afraid to reach out to editors directly through email and pitch them. Some of my best articles were the result of sharing my ideas with an editor. Last but not least, don't give up. With future experience comes inevitable rejection. Even though some of my most prominent articles have come from pitching editors through email, it was common for me to hear the word 'no, thank you' beforehand for various reasons that were sometimes completely out of my control. However, I never gave up and continued the study the structure and tone of the publication I wanted to write for as well as following up with editors weeks or months later with new ideas. Determination is key!"
Q. Something that has always impressed me about your writing is your confidence and openness and how clear your voice comes through. Do you have any tips for creators who are just starting to write or those who are having trouble finding their voice?
"My biggest advice for creators to find their voice is to literally type out their thoughts as if they were speaking directly to a friend. It may be jumbled at first and slightly messy, but that's where your creative juices start flowing and you find your authentic voice. After reading through your inhibited thoughts and ideas typed on the blank screen, feel free to do your own personal editing to refine your writing to match whichever publication you're writing for if need be."
Q. Do you have any other advice for Odyssey creators looking to make writing their career?
"Never be afraid to start at any point in your life. It's never too early and it's never too late to achieve your goals. People have a tendency to talk themselves out of their wildest dreams because they feel like it's too far fetched to believe that anything impactful or successful will come out of it, but putting forth the dedication and the effort will make the impossible become a reality."