A few days ago, I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw a shared post, something about how Odyssey is plaguing Facebook walls, how all Odyssey writers are just sorority girls pretending to be journalists and how Odyssey articles are just half-assed Buzzfeed knockoffs. Well, that hurt a little. To the person that shared that little op-ed, I'm sorry your experience with reading Odyssey content has been that way. But I've read plenty of the articles my peers have written, and I'm proud of the writers who write alongside me. I also understand.
The thing is, I haven't been happy with a lot of my recent articles. They've become more obligatory than inspirational, an "Oh, I need to write something in the next two hours before my deadline hits," and I'm certain that my lack of enthusiasm has been detectable in my last few articles. So sure, I can see how my articles might appear to be "half-assed Buzzfeed knockoffs." But that's not the type of writer that I want to become, that's not the writing style I want to enforce, and while dabbling in listicles and the like has been fun, I truthfully and honestly joined Odyssey because I wanted to improve my creative writing. As a community recruiter, I frequently tell people that Odyssey makes a perfect creative outlet, and it's true. I just haven't been utilizing it myself.
For me, writing has always been about creative conversation and the art of communication. It has never been about word-vomiting on a page to hit a deadline and crossing fingers for likes and shares. That's not what my type of writing is about. But also, two months after my inception as a writer for Odyssey: this is it, folks. I'm flat out of ideas.
I'm not going to back out, though. Friends, I invite you to give me a challenge. Throw a little piece of inspiration to me. Give me a couple of phrases to write on, a jumble of words, and next week I'll come back with my response to your prompts, a single-sentence response or a lengthy paragraph response, who knows. One of my fellow writer friends recently gave me the prompt "cherry wine and ratchet peanut butter." I don't know if cherry wine exists and I definitely don't even know what ratchet peanut butter is. But I spun a tale out of those words, and I haven't had that much fun writing in a long time.
I don't want to be a typical writer. With the articles I've been producing as of late, I'm not even sure I can call myself a writer at all. But I want to write and to create and to communicate, and I'm inviting you to challenge me with your words. Make me earn my title as a writer.