Colleen McDermott

  • Peer Tutor

Colleen is a junior from the Philadelphia area studying environmental analysis and writing. On campus, she is co-president of WashU Ace & Aro and a percussionist in several music ensembles. When she finds free time, Colleen loves to go on hikes, try to draft stories, and research forestry and wildfires.

What brought you to The Writing Center?

Unexpectedly, one of my favorite parts of the first creative writing class I took here turned out to be the peer review process. I love the collaborative conversations that can arise surrounding one’s work, and serving as a peer tutor at The Writing Center seemed like a perfect plan to bring more of those moments my way!

What do you like most about working with writers at The Writing Center?

I really value the interpersonal aspect of working with other writers. Our campus is full of such interesting, cool people, and every week I have a unique opportunity to meet more of them and learn whatever they’re passionate about.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

The hardest part of writing for me is finding pride in my work. Once I have written something, it doesn’t take long for me to feel embarrassed or cringe at it, even when others might praise it. The usual result is then either endless revisions or frustrated abandonment, though I’m hopeful there is a happier option in my future!

What advice do you have for writers?

Actively engage with the world around you and keep writing in your head while you’re doing it. Read stories, look at maps, take walks, talk to new people, seek out fun facts. Inspiration has a habit of surfacing from the strangest, most unlikely places, and any little detail you come across can be the seed to something much bigger.