Taking An Unintended Hiatus

I’ve been slacking lately—not in school work or my jobs, but in general enjoyment. I’ve been slacking when it comes to taking care of my mental health, and I’ve been forgetting that my blog even exists. (I know, I know. How could a writer ever forget their blog, right?) It’s been three months since my unintended last post. Much to my surprise, I’ve still been getting followers.

So thank you.

My time away was long enough for me to find that I miss blogging. I miss having conversations with the people who read my work, and I’ve spent the last three months inadvertently burning myself out. I put in my two-week notice with my position with Odyssey and after doing that, I felt free to update my website and my LinkedIn—and I felt free to write for myself.

Last semester, I had gotten my first poem accepted in Kitty Litter Press. They were launching a reboot issue, so I figured, “Why not?” And among everything else that was going on, I had completely forgotten that I had been published somewhere other than Odyssey. Just now, I dug back through my email to find the link so I could buy a physical copy of the zine (which you can do so here). I’ve seen the PDF version and all the work in it is fantastic.

Some of you will probably wonder why I’m buying a physical copy if I’ve already got the PDF. There are a couple reasons:

  1. Physical copies are great to have and look nice on a bookshelf.
  2. I want to support the people who willingly took a chance on my work and published it in their reboot issue.

Always always always support the people who support you. I can’t stress that enough. Every poem, every story, every essay published is another one you can add to your log of works and build your reputation as a published author. And years from now, when I’m possibly publishing more poetry in other places (maybe even my own book of poems), I’ll be able to look on my bookshelf and remember the people who took that first chance on my when no one else had.

On top of the poem being published by Kitty Litter Press, I also received my first paid freelance gig as a writer! The piece should be published in the next few weeks, so I’m pretty excited for that and will absolutely make sure to share it here.

It makes me a little sad, though, to realize how much fell to the wayside when I took on the job with Odyssey. I am, of course, grateful for the experience and solace it gave me—but it taught me everything that I had to learn from it. And after that, it became nothing more than a set of mundane tasks I felt obligated to complete each weekend. At the very least, I learned managerial and editing skills and can walk away knowing that I made potentially beneficial connections for my future.

Reflecting back on everything I wrote, though, it didn’t improve much. I merely learned how to angle my writing for a different type of outlet—which I suppose can be good in the long run. I started to run out of things to say, though. The things I wanted to say required more work than what was deserved with no reimbursement and no advancing of skills, and the things that were popular on Odyssey were (almost) always clickbait.

That’s not to say that beneficial, well-written pieces never went viral, but a majority of what I saw were clickbait pieces that were designed to instigate, to prompt a view. Sometimes it seemed that all that really mattered were the views—but we’ll save this discussion for a later date.

Be well, everyone. We’ll chat soon.


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