The other day, I found myself thinking about why I write. It has obviously become more than just a hobby to me. I realized how important it is to me and what a large role writing plays in my life. I write because it's a great way for me to work through and sort my thoughts. Whether it be a personal story, a funny bit, or a news-related article, I like to learn as much as I can about myself, my audience, and the world around me. Writing helps me to open myself up to new people, experiences, and thoughts! I've been able to grow creatively, mentally, and emotionally through writing. Then I wondered why my community writes.

I am a member of Florida Gulf Coast University's Odyssey community, meaning every person on my Odyssey team is a student at FGCU - past, present, or future. I am so grateful to be a part of this community and I am even more thankful to be our community's Editor-in-Chief. Not only do I get to create my own content, but I also get to work with and assist a very talented group of writers every single day with their content.

If you don't know what I mean by my community, it's essentially a group "of like-minded individuals who ideate and create content and thoughtful discussion in a group setting. Odyssey communities are either geographic or interest-based." I was curious if members of my community write because they want something to put on their resume? Is it a form of journaling for them? Is it just a hobby? Does it help them, and if so, how? So I asked them.

"I write as a way to express my thoughts, feelings, and experiences and get them off my chest and allow someone else to hear it. The idea that someone could read my work and relate to it or be inspired by it is what keeps me writing. I want to help not only myself through writing but others as well." -Skyler

"I write as a way to express myself and the way that I feel. I also write because it helps me learn about different topics that I wouldn't otherwise think to explore." -Kayla

"I write because it is a healthy way to cope. I write because I enjoy touching other people. Maybe one day my writing will help someone." -Ashley

"I write because I feel so strongly about certain things and I love being able to just write and say how I feel without any backlash. It's just such an open community." -Katy

"I write for Odyssey because it makes me feel happy. It almost feels like a blog. Like I can talk about any and all my problems and help people who can relate to my problems. I love writing about things that make me happy, sad, angry, stressed, etc. because it feels good to have an outlet." -Carla

After asking my team, I felt overjoyed knowing that such a talented group of people truly enjoy writing, generally and specifically for Odyssey. It's a great feeling knowing that my Odyssey community finds comfort in writing just as much as I do. If you've never thought about writing before, I hope these thoughts encourage you to consider opening yourself up to a whole new creative world.