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writing helped me find my voice— And It can help you too

Writing for Odyssey helped me grow as a writer

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writing helped me find my voice— And It can help you too

I wanted to start writing, but I didn't know what to say.

Actually, it was more like I knew what to say, but I didn't know how I was going to say it. I had so much bottled up inside me that I was starving for a creative outlet. I had been told that my ideas were stupid and I had lost confidence in my abilities to write. That's when I saw a post on my college's Facebook page, calling for interested writers to join a group called Odyssey, and I knew I just had to give it a try.

If you're thinking about getting into writing or just want to practice your writing and journalistic skills, join a writing group! No one becomes a fantastic writer overnight. It takes practice, editing, sometimes starting a piece over from scratch. But most of all, writing can be lonely, but it doesn't have to be. By having a community of people supporting you, you put yourself in the perfect environment to grow as a writer.

When I first joined Odyssey, I was excited about having the opportunity to write and the chance to work with editors on my content. I could write about whatever I wanted that would resonate with an audience. But what I got was so much more. As a part of the University of Connecticut Odyssey group, I joined a warm, supportive group of people who checked in with me about my writing, helped us with technical issues, and supplied us with a wealth of animal memes. We would talk through writer's block, bounce ideas off of each other, and see what everyone was up to on Friday nights.

Slowly, over time, I found my voice.

I began by writing about topics I knew well and was interested in, such as science communication, podcasts I couldn't stop listening to, or books that I loved to read as a teenager. These were great starting pieces about topics that I knew well and I could talk about for days if I wasn't concerned about a word count. Then, I took a few big risks and opened up to write about things in my life that were more personal to me. I wrote about how I handled my grief when my grandfather passed away, how I struggle with an attempt to manage my anxiety, and how I transformed myself when making a drastic career move. After the initial fears I had about revealing these personal events to the world, I received an outpour of supporting comments that reassured me and gave me more confidence to continue being open in my writing.

Over time, more people were reading my posts. This wasn't an attempt to reach the most likes or pages viewed, what was really important to me was the comments and the messages I received about my writing. People were engaged with my content, they wanted to hear what I had to say, and what I did have to say resonated with them.

Over the course of the last few months, I've written about topics that were important to me, events that defined me, or that were just plain fun. All of the listicles I've written gave me the chance to highlight some of my favorite hobbies, recipes, and pictures taken around our gorgeous college campus during the summer. At first, I worried that I wouldn't have enough ideas to write about something new every week, but it didn't take long for the ideas to start flowing and evolving over time.

As I start the next phase of my writing journey, I'll be continuing to create content in other places, such as my science blog, Illuminated Brain, and my guest posts on the health blog, Life Omic. But I'll never forget the start of building myself as a writer and the role that Odyssey played in my life. If you want to get started in writing, find yourself a supportive writing group, and then write with abandon!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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