So I really hated writing for a long time. I felt either like I had nothing of importance to say, or, when I did have something to say, that I couldn’t do it justice – someone else could and would communicate my ideas better than I could. So I just didn’t try.
But here I am trying.
Because while I may not always have the most profound ideas to share, and while I might not always share them in the most eloquent ways, that does not mean they aren’t important and worthwhile.
The past semester I wrote, or at least tried to write, an article a week for The Odyssey. And naturally, weeks would come and I would be straight out of ideas. What ideas did I possibly have roaming around in my noggin worth sharing? What headline would people care enough about to click on? And then, what articles would actually have an impact? What could I write about that would actually matter to people?
And so a lot of what I wrote was surface level. I wrote about why I couldn’t go to the gym or what I text my best friend on a daily basis . And while I wrote about things that mattered, like what society teaches us girls , those articles were the minority. Because even though the surface level articles didn’t change people’s lives, they got views, and they made people laugh, and that made me happy.
Then a week ago I shared my biggest secret with everyone. When I published it I really wasn’t sure what the response would be. I figured maybe it would get some views, some likes, and maybe some friends would reach out. What ended up happening was unimaginable. It is my most shared, liked, and viewed article to date on The Odyssey and I had many people reach out to me, from close friends to total strangers, to tell me that my story actually meant something to them. It meant something in their own lives. When I published that article I thought it would change the way people saw me but what I found out was it changed the way, at least a few people, saw themselves and thought about others. What I had to say mattered. What I had to say had an impact. And it felt damn good.
A couple of days after that article went up I was on the phone with my dad and I mentioned to him that the positive response that I got from that article made me think a bit differently about the kind of content I wanted to produce in the future. And while supportive, he warned me that every article cannot be life changing – reminding me that there is still an importance on publishing my surface level, purely for entertainment articles.
Just as much as the world needs to hear and learn from other people’s histories, the world needs a good laugh. The world needs an outlet purely for relaxation. And whether that comes in writing those fun, surface-level articles or from reading them – or from having nothing to do with them whatsoever, there is a place for them. An important place. Because as Steve Jobs said: “thing’s don’t have to change the world to be important”.
So whether you’re sharing all the reasons why you love the snow, or sharing a personal struggle, what you have to say matters. It all has its place and its own importance. And failure to speak for fear of mixing up your words or for fear of your ideas being deemed irrelevant aren’t good enough reasons for silence. Just because your words might not change the entire world does not mean we shouldn’t give them the opportunity to try. What you have to say matters. At least to one person. Probably to more.