As a writer for Odyssey, I am expected to write an article once a week. This seems like a simple enough task considering I voluntarily agreed to join the online writing collective for USC, in addition to the fact that I already enjoy writing. However, I would be lying if I said it doesn't bug me sometimes, especially since there are consequences to not uploading at least one article every week. Thus, like many other content creators, I am approached with the dilemma of the quality of my content being sacrificed just to meet a quota on time.
I feel like part of the beauty of writing is writing for a purpose-- for really only then is writing truly at its best. This purpose, though, should not be just to meet a weekly requirement. I agree that sometimes writing should challenge us, and that by enforcing a quota we are being challenged to "think outside the box," for new article ideas, or not, really. Many times it's easier to simply write about trendy topics in the news in order to ride a trend's wave--in fact I'm advised to, however unless something in the news strikes me on a deep moral level, I find these topics the least engaging to write about, as well as to read from other creators. At the end of the day, all of those articles mesh into one; they are designed to, whether the author can admit that or not. I can admit that I've fallen into this category at times, especially when in a time crunch, however I can honestly say those are my least favorite articles of mine. So what? That's my fault for not managing my time better, right?
Wrong. Although I do need to work on my time management, I find it a little out of line for a platform designed to give anyone the ability to write as they please, to demand content, given that this is a voluntary, non-paying site. I manage the best that I can, we all do, some better than I. That doesn't change the fact that I'm not given slack for missing a deadline in order to finish a night's load of homework, or even simply because I want to write about something I actually care about. It's still an article a week, regardless of how you feel about your work that's publicly published with your name on it. Consider this-- The Odyssey is like a YouTube for writing. Anyone can join a community and write about whatever they want, sharing their voice and experiences to a public audience the way YouTube members create videos to achieve the same goal. The YouTube creator decides their own uploading schedule, allowing them to maximize their personal satisfaction with their work, which usually attracts a larger audience since people can tell when someone is doing something they genuinely care about. Now imagine that freedom is taken away from them. Think about your favorite creators-- would their content be as good? Would you consistently watch knowing their content has become diluted? I would think not.
Of course, this may only be an issue within my community on Odyssey, but even if it is not, I know it is an issue that bleeds into nearly the entire creative community. The beauty of sites like these is the freedom they give their creators, at least it should be in my opinion. So why kill a beautiful thing? I open this question to those responsible for setting quotas here in my community at USC (if they are responsible), Odyssey itself and its creators, and anyone else with a take on this. Where do we draw the line?