Katy Brainerd

  • Peer Tutor

Katy is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, majoring in anthropology with minors in design and writing. On campus, Katy is a student tour leader, treasurer of the equestrian team, and a member of Chi Omega. Within WUSTL’s writing community, she serves as an artistic director for The Moth, a nonfiction storytelling event, and writes for HerCampus. Katy will spend a semester abroad in Greece next year and plans on pursuing a career in public relations after graduation.

What brought you to The Writing Center?

I have always been someone that friends turn to when they need a paper to be reviewed, and through that I discovered how much I enjoy working with people on their writing. I also am someone who prefers to write in a space where I can bounce ideas off other people. Through The Writing Center, the writing experience goes from a solitary journey to one where ideas can be discussed freely and openly with others. I figured that if I preferred to write in a collaborative space, there must be other students here who have similar needs, and so it was a natural decision to work at a place like The Writing Center where I can help others who have similar writing processes to my own!

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

I love The Writing Center because it gives me the opportunity to get to know people through their writing and learn more about topics that I otherwise would not have been exposed to. There are so many individuals here who have great ideas and interesting stories. Through The Writing Center, I get the chance to learn a bit about them.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

I have a hard time separating the writing and editing processes. Rather than just putting words on the paper, I often find myself going back and repeatedly editing a paragraph I already wrote instead of pushing forward. When I stop myself from editing as I go, I am more willing to take risks and try new ideas. In addition, the writing process goes much more quickly.

 What advice do you have for writers?

Don’t fear the revision process! When you finally finish your first draft, it is tempting to limit yourself to grammar edits instead of doing true revisions. Grammar edits are not revisions. You are only halfway there when you complete your first draft. Don’t be afraid to take risks, move your story into a new direction, or delete sections entirely. Great revisions happen when you take a step back from your draft and think critically about it instead of looking at it as a completed piece.