WordPress and Odyssey

WordPress alerted me that I reached my three year anniversary with this blog yesterday.

Cool shit.

I have really enjoyed WordPress and will continue to use this as my main forum for blogging, and eventually vlogging again.

Recently, I was admitted to the Odyssey online. For those of you who don’t know what it is (hell, I didn’t until a couple weeks ago), here’s the link: http://theodysseyonline.com/

Basically, it’s a site for college students post their informative articles and reports on current news and events occurring in the world. It’s as though every college newspaper’s team of student writers got together to post their works to more than just their own student body.

It’s essentially a website version of a portfolio that the individual student doesn’t have to make themselves. They simply submit the articles they have already written and worked on to their newspaper and to the Odyssey.

Not a bad idea, I was intrigued enough to submit an application. Mind you, my teachers and editor had no idea Henderson was a part of this, nor did they even know about the submissions. My mother found it because she was looking for something like that.

When my teachers and editors discovered it, they pretty much said, “cool,” and moved on and never even mentioned it or brought it up to any practicum or staff students.

I still went for it. Might as well right?

At first I didn’t get what they wanted specifically. The more I went on the more I learned that bloggy things were not really what they wanted, but definitely articles you would find in a paper or magazine.

Ok, makes sense.

I had submitted works from my blog that I wanted to push a little more, although to be fair I push them enough on several media outlets as is. Still, it never hurts to add one more form of media to my blog promotion.

Well, turns out I’m not supposed to submit things like that. And I don’t just mean my blogs, but that Odyssey only wants pieces that will be original to their site.

So for five early-morning sleepy minutes I only focused on the whole “less bloggy, more article-y” aspect and was about to submit my university’s Oracle articles. Of course, my brain functioned on a normal level and realized that they would not be content originally posted on the Odyssey. And since I especially write for my paper’s website specifically like some kind of .Mic, Upworthy, or even BuzzFeed type gig, it definitely wouldn’t be the first time posting it online for the Odyssey.

So what the hell do I post?

I suppose I could write articles specifically for the Odyssey with no attachment to or promotion of my blog. I could submit articles that I don’t do for my paper. But then wouldn’t I be writing twice the articles, three times the works (because I’m including my posts here as well as #Squadgoals), and Odyssey can’t be linked to any of my other works whatsoever?

Eh… I may pass.

But hey, this is supposed to be a professional-style online portfolio for your work, right?

Sort of. But if no one knows what Odyssey is, it’s not all that impressive to point out about yourself.

Aren’t there any awards, push, or recognition for yourself?

Kind of? Sort of? Let me paint this piccadilly for you.

In order to really get any recognition for your work, you have to have people from your school share the shit out of it. That means you have to have a shit load of people to do this sharing. I have a small group of people who would actually share the work. But that’s not enough.

Nay nay, she say.

It’s not just about sharing the story, but you have to be the MOST shared story out of everyone else’s from your university.

Guess who wins with their stories every week?

People in fucking sororities.

Well of course.

Because they ask their sisters to share their shit (not that it’s shit, I just mean that as an object not as a reflection of their writing) at meetings or through mass messaging and of course the sisters do because they feed off of each other’s recognition and success.

I’m not being an ass that’s just how it is. If you’re in any kind of popularity contest with someone in a sorority then you need to know then and there you are losing your ass.

Sorority girls are terrifying. They pay to have this mob of instant supporters for pretty much anything and everything they do.

So, all the top/best/most shared articles I found were from the Greek life peeps.

Makes sense.

Because let’s delve into why exactly.

The top story of each week is not chosen carefully by a team of professional editors.

Again, nay nay, she say.

The top stories are simply the ones that the writer gets most shares out of.

So it’s literally a popularity contest.

I mean damn, I sent some shit in and I’m getting told by a student editor (no, not an actual full-fledged, long-since graduated editor with experience at newspapers and magazines). A straight up student editor. A student.

Are there any professors or experienced, professional editors looking at my shit?

I’m not finding any. Well fuck then what the fuck is the point?

I received an email for my latest submissions and I got a lot of “please don’t be offended, here are my critiques.”

I was excited. Hell yeah, tear my shit apart. It’s shit. Tell me how to be a better writer.

But it wasn’t about my writing perse. Just about how the theme of it wasn’t what the site was looking for. Which I get, and I agree. My fault, I didn’t totally realize.

But I’m expecting some real editing y’all.

Not, “But I really love your work, seriously!”

I mean thanks, of course, that’s awesome that you like it. But I’m not looking for students to like my work, I’m looking for editors and future employers to regard and accept my work.

I don’t really need a forum for articles that aren’t even being treated as though they are submissions to a professional press company.

Thank you for your kind words, but it’s just not what I need.

So, there you have it. I got popped into a weekly popularity contest that wants only original work posted originally on the site with no promotion to the blogs and articles that I want promoted and I’m not even getting a legit editing.

As we speak I have been added to a, Odyssey group messaging on my phone.


I need to get serious about my professional pieces and my career through writing. Odyssey simply doesn’t assist that.

Hey, I’m glad I tried. I’m glad I got on. It’s cool. But it’s not the professional forte I hoped to encounter.



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