A’Daja is a senior from a small town in northern Louisiana. She is majoring in both English and African & African America Studies (AFAS). She hopes to one day become a professional writer. Along with being a peer tutor, she is on the writing committee for a student-led newspaper called RIZE and acts as a peer facilitator for TRUTH, an on-campus organization devoted to teaching understanding. She enjoys trying new foods, reading poetry, and learning songs on the piano.
What brought you to The Writing Center?
Every summer since I was in kindergarten, my mom signed me up for our library’s summer reading program. And I had a choice: to either fall in love with reading or hate every second of it. I, fortunately, realized the beauty of reading and writing, and always struggled with trying to find a way to use that passion to help others. For me, being a peer tutor is a chance to help other writers grow confident in their own skills. My hope is that each writer leaves a session having gained some type of insight or moment of epiphany.
What do you like most about working with writers at The Writing Center?
The ability to both teach and learn from writers. Each writer is different, and I think that makes each session that much more meaningful. Not only am I able to help other writers, but I happen to learn a lot from them as well. I learn how to be a better tutor and assist each writer on their individual needs. It’s also incredible to be a sort of listening ear to so many ideas and interpretations of the world.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
How to begin. Even after gathering my ideas, creating a plan, and sitting down to write I sometimes find it difficult to know exactly how to start. I guess this is when my own perpetual writer’s block sets in. I can be full of ideas and drive but get so caught up in what the beginning is “supposed” to look like. However, I’ve found that with any piece (whether it is an essay or a creative project) you can start anywhere that flows naturally. Often times, if you can work out a large chunk of the middle and end, it’s not as hard to go back to the beginning.
What advice do you have for writers?
My advice would be to never give up and think positive. From personal experience, writing is only as hard as you make it. If you’re truly passionate (or have at least some level of interest) about what you’re writing about, then let your writing be an extension of those thoughts. Sometimes I sell myself short by convincing myself that I’m not as skilled as my peers or the length of an assignment seems overwhelming. I think it’s best to stay positive because you may find that you have a lot to say and offer.