Jamila Dawkins

  • Peer Tutor

Jamila is an English major native to the upstate New York area. Now entering her junior year, she spends most of her free time working as a Forum editor for Student Life or as an executive board member for Black Anthology. Otherwise, she’s likely making jewelry, reading, or watching (and then rewatching) dramatic cooking shows.

What brought you to The Writing Center?

I first learned about The Writing Center on my first tour of Wash U, where a tour guide gave us the tip that students (of any major) could read your paper and offer advice at The Writing Center. Since then, I’ve declared an English major, and decided that not only does that sound like beneficial work for my own writing, but it also sounds like a lot of fun!

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

I love all the learning by osmosis. It’s impossible to take a class in everything, but through sessions at The Writing Center, I get to hear a little bit about everything. Even when it’s outside my discipline, the students’ passion often translates, and it’s really engaging to witness.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

There’s a million things, but lately I struggle with the moment’s pause after you’ve been in a good rhythm of writing where you think to yourself: “What now?” Motivation while writing can be elusive for me, whether it’s my passion project or a class I’m only taking for a requirement. Being surrounded by writers, though—an environment the Writing Center fosters—helps me get back on track.

What advice do you have for writers?

Hype yourself up while you write. I tend to edit while writing, so I’m always looking for errors, but lately I make the effort to congratulate myself for the sentences that get at exactly what I want to say. Revision isn’t just the process of fixing shortcomings—it’s also about making the best parts shine brighter. So make sure you know what those best parts are!