Morgan Mattke

Peer Tutor

Morgan is a senior at studying English and international and area studies with a minor in Spanish. On campus she works through the Prison Education Project, tutoring writing to incarcerated students, and is involved with Sigma Iota Rho, WashU’s international studies honor society. Outside of school, she can be found cooking, curating the ultimate Spotify playlist, and spending time with animals.

What brought you to The Writing Center?
During my first year, I had some writing trouble that first-years tend to have, so I shared with a friend that I probably should go to The Writing Center. She revealed to me that she was a peer tutor; I then discovered that most of the amazing people I was clicking with into my sophomore year were either peer tutors themselves or huge fans of The Writing Center. Since acquainting myself, I’ve found that its community values and academic ethos are a great fit with mine.

What do you like most about working with writers at The Writing Center? 
Students who come into The Writing Center are already poised to learn. It is a privilege to act as a reader who hasn’t been so bogged down in their writing process to then lead them to an “a-ha moment” that they have come to themselves. Those moments wind up providing lots more clarity and confidence for the student, which are such satisfying elements of the writing process when you can get them.

What do you find most challenging about writing?
I require external deadlines at every turn. Those I set for myself in hopes of easing the process along are hardly enough. I’ve learned to get by by asking friends to help keep me accountable, but I always end up working up against those deadlines anyway, always meeting them while the friends and eventually professors are none the wiser. I’m on the way to accepting that I might do my best work under pressure, but I do not recommend my strategy to anyone else.

What advice do you have for writers?
Just start. Nothing can get done unless there are words on paper/screen to start, even if they’re the worst words you think you’ve written. The blank page/screen is the most daunting part, so if you’ve overcome that, it’s relatively smooth sailing from there. And the most fun part of writing is the editing, when you get to make fun choices at the granular and larger levels. None of that can happen until you start.