As my time at the Odyssey comes to a close, I have been reflecting on all of the things that I have learned from them. Beyond just making friends and having something to keep me busy week by week, I truly have pushed myself to develop my skills as a writer. Here are xx things you learn from writing daily.
Avoiding typos is important. By the time our article gets to our Editor in Chief we want the article to be near perfect, to make their job as easy as possible. In writing for the Odyssey, I have become much better at identifying my grammatical and spelling errors before my writing reaches my editor's desk.
2. How To Meet A Deadline
This was one that I struggled with, and still struggle with. About a year into my time writing for the Odyssey, our deadline changed and was set back two days and I started missing deadlines all the time. And if I couldn't come up with a solid idea for the week I would keep putting my article off. But now, looking back on my time at Odyssey, I have become much better at meeting deadlines.
3. How To Get Past Writer's Block
One of the hardest parts of writing for Odyssey is trying to come up with an idea each week. Your goal is to write something that is both personal to you and entertaining for others to read so that people will want to read and share it. The first time you have an article go viral is so exciting but the weeks that follow can be difficult because you feel a lot of pressure to do it again. In our Odyssey group message, we constantly bounce ideas off of each other and help our peers to come up with ideas that will work well for an article.
4. How To Entertain
Even after you come up with an idea for an Odyssey article, finding a way to make it entertaining and readable can be difficult. Throughout my time at Odyssey, I have learned how to add eye-catching photos and gifs, spice up my language and make small changes to make my articles more interesting.
There were some days when I would come home from a long day of classes and writing didn't sound appealing at all. But there were deadlines to meet and people who were counting on my article getting in, so I had to buckle down and write.
6. Writing Something Bad Is OK
A lot of the time, especially after having an article go viral, nothing you write will seem good enough. This is where I learned that writing something that you might not love is OK. A lot of the time once I submitted I would find that it was better than I thought it was, and some of the things that I expected to only get a handful of reads turned out to be some of my best articles.
7. People Will Read (And Respond To) Your Writing
When I first began writing for the Odyssey I was expecting to get maybe a handful of readers on each article. However, that wasn't the case at all, especially when I wrote something controversial. And when I wrote those controversial pieces, people would be sure to respond with their opinion on my writing (or attack my character based on my opinions). Writing has helped me develop a thicker skin and learn that people will have a negative opinion regardless of what you're writing.
And for every one thing I learned specifically about writing during my time at Odyssey, I learned another 10 skills that aren't related to writing. I will forever be grateful for the time I've spent writing, the GroupMe conversations I've had, the articles I've had go viral (both serious and silly) and the friendships I've built through this platform.