“Don’t publish content just for the heck of having an updated blog or keeping up with your ‘schedule’ and for gaining likes, clicks, and followers. At the end of the day, statistics are just that—they’re merely numbers and nothing more. -A Blog by Victoria (WordPress)
Writing is a passion—a strong connection of my mind to the world. It’s always been an important interest of mine, and I strive to continue to better and grow in it. As I entered my second semester of college, I had declared my minor in Creative Writing and joined the Odyssey. I remember my first impression clearly: I was searching for a “publications” site to further my articles. I had heard about the Odyssey from a classmate and figured it was worth checking out. What immediately caught my attention was the site’s summary:
“Odyssey democratizes content, giving people the opportunity to share what’s most important to them and their communities, enriching everyone with broader, more honest perspectives on topics they care about.”
It was hard to argue with that. It really seemed to appeal to the people and nothing but the people. That was exactly what I had wanted. I wanted to be able to write freely about whatever I desired, and have a platform that supported that—despite the number of “views.” The Odyssey did give me that, but as time went on, it became what I didn’t want it to be.
“Keep it real.The community decides what content goes on Odyssey based on what’s important to them, not on what merely sells more media.”
Quickly, I learned that my style of writing differed from what was commonly advertised within my community. This wasn’t an issue, since there were several articles like mine out there, just not typically suggested in the “topics of the week.” I was realizing my deep, inner reflection pieces didn’t seem to fit in the “targeted goal” for the week/month.
Plus, as important as marketing is, it soon became the main focus of what the Odyssey was all about. I knew sharing my article on multiple platforms would only help, but I didn’t enjoy certain aspects of my work being pinpointed for not fitting in the standards of what “they” (whoever “they” are) felt was “fitting” for my work. Wait a minute. Wasn’t this supposed to be “based on what’s important to ME?” I thought so...
I’m well aware that there are two sides to every story, and that many, many others have only experienced positive outcomes from this organization. Personally, I felt that my particular writing style simply didn’t fit. However, I also wasn’t overly satisfied with the displayed promise and the received platform that was honestly just disappointing. I felt that I had to slip into a particular cookie-cutter outline in order to fully feel that the Odyssey was for me. As an independent who promotes individuality like it’s my middle name, I wasn’t about to conform to these ideals.
“Your voice matters. Be heard. Make an impact.”
As far as group communication, I didn’t feel that the truths of some articles were being discussed. It was always how to further get content out—all about numbers. The worst demand was the weekly deadline. I’m lucky enough to have topic ideas pop into my head often, but I liked to take the time to fully develop them. I wanted them to grow and flourish; I wanted the next one to be better than the last. The weekly deadlines were so pressuring, that I felt that my content grew more and more rushed and wasn’t in the condition I wanted it to be when submitted and published. It started to take away from the true reason I started writing, and I wasn’t about to let that continue.
It was when I saw the quote from WordPress that I realized leaving was the best option. I don’t want to, nor will I, write for statistics. I’ll write for me. So thank you, Odyssey. I will make an impact and be heard, just not in the way you tried to convince me.
[I’m excited to announce I have launched a new personal blog with all of my past articles along with some of my included photography. Visit reflextionscom.wordpress.com to keep updated on my future articles.]