DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on Odyssey.
Technically, this would be my 101th article, but its purpose is to retrospectively reflect on how my writing changed throughout my time as an Odyssey content creator. A good way of doing this is to look back at how I managed to write 100 articles for up to two years.
I had considered writing articles for a blog, but decided to put it off until I discovered Odyssey. It came from one of my peers in Monmouth University. She talked about gaining volunteering experience from writing for a website targeted towards Millennials called Odyssey. I figured that I would try it, so I joined “Millennials of New Jersey” which at the time had 22 writers. Now the number of writers had multiplied to 118. Throughout that time, this group had seen many unique writers who had their own contributions to the group, while others were more temporary.
My time writing for Odyssey allowed me to write multiple genres, whether it had to do with linguistics, film, literature, science, or fiction. I also managed to push my limitations by including Basque and Haitian Creole translations of my poem provided by freelance translators.
Along with those types of experimental articles, the fact that I managed to reach 100 articles meant that I had to uses my time preciously. Since there is a weekly submission, I made sure to consistently post one article at a time. Rarely did I ever post more than one at a time, since I did not want to submit multiple articles on different weeks and then feel spent in the future. The only time when I consistently submitted two to three articles was in my final month writing for Odyssey. I wanted to reach the goal of 100 articles that I decided would make an epic conclusion to my time on Odyssey.
Within my time writing for the site, I gained volunteering experience, as I would provide a portfolio when applying for any job that involves writing. I was told by one of my professors that I was on the right track by writing for Odyssey. This would be important since Odyssey writers have been characterized as amateur writers with base opinions. I had been trying to avoid such a stereotype by writing articles that I thought would gain a reader’s attention, with only a few opinion articles.
As a content creator, I had to consistently write an article weekly on a Wednesday deadline. So, it caused me to think of a strategy to avoid writer’s block. I did so by writing myself lists of questions which would help inspire some article idea invention. I also had to look at how communities on Odyssey become so popular, which made me understand how to attract viewers to a page, especially since this site is targeted towards Millennials. As such, it caused me to write more in a conversational type of way and I started shifting from writing in the academic way that I was used to.
Not only has my writing changed, but also how I select which images to use as the headline picture. My experience writing for Odyssey caused me to design truly unique images in order for the articles to stand out. I do not just find photos that have free licenses, rather I create my own photos that evoke whatever mood or tone of the article that I am writing about.
The limits that I had encountered on Odyssey definitely motivated me to push them, since I knew that I was gaining valuable experience writing for the site. Considering how I wrote 100 articles, I would say that I have bolstered my portfolio and look forward to expanding upon it. I would hope that any Odyssey reader who comes across this article would be motivated to reach that goal.
Image Attribution: Wikimedia